Football: Metalist challenge UEFA ban at CAS

Disgraced Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv have turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being thrown out of this year's Champions League over match-fixing, the Swiss-based tribunal said on Thursday.

In a statement, the CAS said that Metalist had filed an urgent request seeking a temporary stay of the decision by European football's governing body UEFA to axe them.

In addition, the Ukrainians also asked the court to block UEFA's decision to grant their Champions League berth to Greek club PAOK.

In the wake of Metalist's move, the CAS said, both UEFA and PAOK are to make written submissions to the court.

UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the Ukrainian club earlier this month after suspicions were raised about matches they were involved in.

Given that qualifying for this year's competition was already under way, the case was heard directly by UEFA's appeals tribunal, and Metalist were hit with the penalty on Wednesday.

Metalist's decision to turn to the CAS to try to recover their slot in European competition comes two weeks after they fell foul of the court because of corruption.

On August 2, a CAS Panel determined that Metalist as well as some individual club officials were guilty of match-fixing in relation to a Ukrainian league game with Karpaty Lviv in 2008.

Metalist have opted to challenge that decision outside the world of sport, turning to Switzerland's supreme court, the Federal Tribunal.

The Ukrainians' latest move could mean a nail-biting few days for PAOK.

The Greek club, who lost 3-1 on aggregate to Metalist in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, are bracing themselves to face Schalke 04 of Germany in a play-off on August 21 and 27 to enter the group stage of the competition.