Champions League

Arsenal to face Fenerbahce

2013-08-09 13:12
Arsene Wenger (File)
Nyon - Arsenal have been drawn to play Fenerbahce in the Champions League playoffs as the English club seeks a 16th straight season in the lucrative group stage.

However, a pending match-fixing case involving Fenerbahce at sport's highest court means the Turkish club could be expelled even if they win.

Seven-time winners AC Milan were paired in Friday's draw with PSV Eindhoven, the 1988 European champions, with the first match in the Netherlands.

Schalke were drawn to play Metalist Kharkiv, who face a match-fixing disciplinary hearing at UEFA on Tuesday.

First legs will be played on August 20 or 21 and return matches on August 27 or 28.

Winners advance to the elite 32-team group stage, which will be drawn on August 29 in Monaco.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has set an August 28 deadline to rule on Fenerbahce's appeal against a two-year ban from UEFA competitions. No hearing date has been set.

UEFA's Champions League rules require clubs not to have been involved in fixing matches since April 2007, and several Fenerbahce officials were convicted in a criminal trial of fixing matches during the club's 2011 national title run. They deny any wrongdoing.

Metalist also face UEFA sanctions after CAS last month dismissed an appeal by the Ukrainian club's sports director against a five-year ban from football. The Ukrainian football federation had judged that Metalist's 4-0 win against Karpaty Lviv in an April 2008 league match was fixed.

Draw on Friday for the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League:

Lyon (France) v Real Sociedad (Spain)
Schalke (Germany) v Metalist Kharkiv (Ukraine)
Pacos de Ferreira (Portugal) v Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia)
PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) v AC Milan (Italy)
Fenerbahce (Turkey) v Arsenal (England)
Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) v Austria Vienna (Austria)
Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria) v Basel (Switzerland)
Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic) v Maribor (Slovenia)
Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan) v Celtic (Scotland)
Steaua Bucharest (Romania) v Legia Warsaw (Poland)

Read more on:    arsenal  |  champions league  |  soccer
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