AC Milan to play in Champions League this year

August 2, 2006

NYON, Switzerland -- AC Milan will play in the Champions League this season.

The six-time European champions, who had been barred from Europe's top club competition by an Italian sports tribunal investigating the country's match-fixing scandal, will face either Ireland's Cork City or Serbia's Red Star Belgrade on Aug. 8 or 9 in the third qualifying round.

"AC Milan have officially been admitted to the Champions League," the team said.

UEFA confirmed the decision.

The Italian ruling to ban Milan from the competition was overturned on appeal, and UEFA provisionally included Milan in Friday's draw for the tournament.

AC Milan, owned by former Italian premier and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, submitted written arguments to UEFA's emergency panel. The Italian soccer federation also submitted arguments in support of the team.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press