Club fights UEFA ban over fixing

LAUSANNE - The Court of Arbitration for Sport will hear appeals by a Macedonian club president and former skipper to overturn their lifetime bans from football for fixing a Champions League match in a betting scam.

LAUSANNE - The Court of Arbitration for Sport will hear appeals by a Macedonian club president and former skipper to overturn their lifetime bans from football for fixing a Champions League match in a betting scam.

The court said it also will examine UEFA's decision to ban the club, FK Pobeda, from European competitions for eight years. UEFA ruled in April that Pobeda president Aleksandar Zabrcanec and then-team captain Nikolce Zdraveski ensured the team lost a qualifying round match against Armenian club Pyunik in July 2004.

They deny the charges. Pobeda lost 3-1 in the first leg after going three goals down in the first half.

UEFA said Zabrcanec and Zdraveski were suspected of "manipulating the outcome. to gain an undue advantage for themselves and a third party".

The verdict was welcomed by UEFA president Michel Platini, who has described match-fixing as the greatest problem facing European football. Zabrcanec and Zdraveski were the first club officials in Europe to be found guilty of fixing a match.

UEFA is investigating 40 cases of suspected fixed matches played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, now known as the Europa League. - Sapa-AP

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