Sion lose bid to be reinstated in Europa League


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The Independent Football

Swiss club Sion have lost their fight to be allowed back into the Europa League.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport today upheld UEFA's decision to throw Sion out of the Europa League for fielding five ineligible players in their two-legged play-off with Celtic.

CAS also order Sion to pay UEFA 40,000 Swiss Francs (£27,400) for the governing body's legal costs.

A statement from CAS read: "The CAS first decided that it had jurisdiction to rule on the request for arbitration filed by UEFA on 26 September 2011.

"It then decided to confirm that OLA (Sion) should not be reintegrated in the UEFA Europa League 2011/2012, confirming indirectly the validity of the decision of the UEFA Appeals Body of 13 September 2011."

The ruling brings to an end a lengthy legal battle following Sion's expulsion from the competition on September 2 following their 3-1 aggregate play-off victory over Celtic.

The five players declared ineligible were signed during a FIFA-imposed transfer embargo, but Sion argued they believed that sanction had expired.

Sion took their case to the Swiss civil court in the canton of Vaud in a bid to regain their place in the competition, but UEFA insisted the only binding decision would come from CAS.

A ruling in favour of Sion would have thrown the competition into confusion with Celtic's Europa League Group I, which also features, Rennes, Udinese and Atletico Madrid, due to conclude tonight.

CAS said the reasons for the ruling would be announced "within the next weeks".

"Thereafter an appeal will be possible at the Swiss Federal Tribunal (time limit of 30 days from receipt of the grounds for the award)," the statement added.