Milan Champs Lge participation in the balance

July 26, 2006

AC Milan's participation in the Champions League will be under discussion when UEFA hold an emergency panel meeting on Thursday morning.

European football's governing body have confirmed that the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have entered AC Milan to be the country's representatives at the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

On Tuesday evening an appeal court decided that Milan's 44-point deduction from their total last season should be reduced to 30 points, allowing the club a chance to qualify for the group stage of Europe's elite competition.

Milan, along with Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio, were sanctioned following a sports court trial into attempted match-fixing in Italy.

However, UEFA could yet prevent Milan from participating in the competition, and a meeting chaired by the Union's president Lennart Johansson and attended by senior UEFA officials will focus on the Italian situation.

'There will be an emergency panel meeting, which will be attended by the UEFA president on Thursday morning, and it will specifically look at the Italian teams entered for UEFA's competitions for the coming season,' a UEFA spokesman told PA Sport.

Earlier, UEFA's head of communications William Gaillard pointed out that there has been a precedent for the Union preventing a club from playing in their competitions.

Marseille, who beat Milan in the Champions League final in 1993, were denied the chance to defend their trophy after being found guilty of match-fixing in their domestic league.

Gaillard said: 'Who plays in the European competitions will be up to the (UEFA) committee.

'In the past the committee have made exceptions (by preventing clubs from taking part in European competitions). Marseille were one case in 1993.'