Friday, 9 May 2008

Udinese miss out on UEFA licence

Udinese may still be in the running for the fourth UEFA Champions League spot, but they will not be allowed to take part in any European competitions next season after failing to gain a UEFA club licence.

The Bianconeri are one of seven Serie A clubs that have failed to recieve the licence which, is a criteria system UEFA use to check the club's stadium facilities and finances before entering a club into their competitions.

Pasquale Marino's side have already secured a top seven finish and are just four points behind fourth-placed AC Milan with two games remaining.

The other clubs ruled out - Cagliari, Catania, Empoli, Livorno, Reggina and Siena - are not in the running for European spots anyway but they, and Udinese all have the opportunity to present an appeal within five days.

If Udinese's appeal to overturn the decision fails, the next highest club will be allowed to enter in their place. At the moment Genoa hold that eighth spot in the standings, but Napoli, Palermo and Atalanta are all still in the running.

Last season Atalanta failed to gain a UEFA licence, missing out on an Intertoto Cup spot. The Bergamo outfit were replaced by the team who finished a place below them, Sampdoria, who went on to win the pre-season tournament and reach this season's UEFA Cup.

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