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22011-12 UEFA Europa League

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The UEFA Europa League group stage draw threw up several intriguing match-ups with 2010 winners Club Atlético de Madrid taking on Udinese Calcio and Stade Rennais FC in Group I, and Tottenham Hotspur FC meeting FC Rubin Kazan and surprise package Shamrock Rovers FC in Group A.

Friday's draw, which took place in Monaco, split 48 teams into 12 groups with other highlights including the pairing of Paris Saint-Germain FC and Athletic Club, and 2011 runners-up SC Braga facing Club Brugge KV, English second-tier club Birmingham City FC and NK Maribor.

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Group games will be played from 15 September until 15 December, the day before the draws for the rounds of 32 and 16. The top two teams in each group will be joined by the third-placed UEFA Champions League group stage finishers in the knockout phase, which concludes at the National Stadium, Bucharest, on 9 May 2012.

2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage

Group A

Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG)

FC Rubin Kazan (RUS)

PAOK FC (GRE)

Shamrock Rovers FC (IRL)

Group B

FC København (DEN)

R. Standard de Liège (BEL)

Hannover 96 (GER)

FC Vorskla Poltava (UKR)

Group C

PSV Eindhoven (NED)

Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)

FC Rapid Bucureşti (ROU)

Legia Warszawa (POL)

Group D

Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)

S.S. Lazio (ITA)

FC Zürich (SUI)

FC Vaslui (ROU)

Group E

FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)

Beşiktaş JK (TUR)

Stoke City FC (ENG)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)

Group F

Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)

Athletic Club (ESP)

FC Salzburg (AUT)

ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK)

Group G

AZ Alkmaar (NED)

FC Metalist Kharkiv (UKR)

FK Austria Wien (AUT)

Malmö FF (SWE)

Group H

SC Braga (POR)

Club Brugge KV (BEL)

Birmingham City FC (ENG)

NK Maribor (SVN)

Group I

Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP)

Udinese Calcio (ITA)

Stade Rennais FC (FRA)

FC Sion (SUI)

Group J

FC Schalke 04 (GER)

FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU)

Maccabi Haifa FC (ISR)

AEK Larnaca FC (CYP)

Group K

FC Twente (NED)

Fulham FC (ENG)

Odense BK (DEN)

Wisła Kraków (POL)

Group L

RSC Anderlecht (BEL)

AEK Athens FC (GRE)

FC Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)

SK Sturm Graz (AUT)

Full fixtures

UEFA

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Uefa dismisses Sion's appeal against ban from Europa League

Uefa has dismissed FC Sion's attempts to be reinstated into the Europa League through the Swiss civil courts. European football's governing body said it will instead await the judgment of the court of arbitration for sport on the issue.

Sion claimed this month that the civil court of the Canton of Vaud ruled that Uefa should immediately reinstate them in the competition and pay the club damages.

Uefa's executive committee had held an extraordinary meeting on Monday to discuss the case following the court ruling.

A Uefa statement read: "The executive committee of Uefa unanimously stated that it had no statutory authority to reinstate FC Sion as this was the sole prerogative of the disciplinary instances of Uefa, which operate under the statutes in an independent manner with no influence whatsoever from the Uefa administration or Uefa executive committee. As the Uefa disciplinary bodies have twice ruled on this case, the Uefa executive committee unanimously decided to await the court of arbitration for sport decision on the merits of the case."

Sion were expelled by Uefa on 2 September for fielding ineligible players in their play-off against Celtic, with their place in the Europa League awarded to the Scottish Premier League side. The Swiss club appealed against the decision but the appeal was rejected on 13 September and Celtic have played in two group ties, against Atlético Madrid and Udinese.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/oct/11/uefa-sion-appeal

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(Reuters) - Football would be "in danger" if other clubs or teams followed the example of Sion and took their grievances to civil courts, governing body FIFA said Thursday.

FIFA's executive committee passed a resolution calling on all members to respect the statute which bans them from taking soccer-related cases to the civil court.

"The structure of organised football is in danger if clubs and players do not respect the statutes of FIFA, the confederations and the associations," said the resolution.

"Organised football of FIFA would no longer be possible if every club or player went to a local court when they disagreed with decisions which became final and binding."

Sion were kicked out of the Europa League by UEFA for fielding ineligible players in a playoff tie but later won an injunction at a civil court in Switzerland ordering their reinstatement.

Wednesday, UEFA president Michel Platini and general secretary Gianni Infantino appeared before a prosecutor in the Vaud canton tribunal to explain why the order had not yet been implemented.

UEFA have appealed to Sion to settle the case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which is recognized as sport's highest tribunal, rather the proceeding with the civil case.

Sion signed six players in the summer despite being subject to a transfer ban after being found guilty of inducing an Egyptian goalkeeper to break his contract with his previous club to join them in 2008.

FIFA added in its resolution that this decision "was confirmed by the independent international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland."

The six players were initially banned from playing in the Swiss League, which backed down when they won the right to play in a civil court.

But, in another twist Wednesday, the SFL handed each of the six players five-match bans for breaking its statutes by taking their case to the civil court.

Reuters

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Visual identity for 2012 final presented in Bucharest

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UEFA unveiled today the visual identity created for the 2012 UEFA Europa League final at a star-studded event in Bucharest, Romania.

The unveiling ceremony – the first official milestone on the road to the final – was held in the VIP Hospitality Lounge of the National Arena Bucharest, which will stage the showpiece match on 9 May next year. More than 150 guests and 80 media representatives attended the launch, which took place in the presence of the 2012 UEFA Europa League final ambassador Miodrag Belodedici.

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UEFA

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draw for the round of 32

Porto v Manchester City

Ajax v Manchester United

Lokomotiv Moscow v Athletic Bilbao

FC Salzburg v Metalist Kharkiv

Stoke City v Valencia

Rubin Kazan v Olympiakos

Steaua Bucharest v FC Twente

AZ Alkmaar v Anderlecht

Lazio v Atletico Madrid

Viktoria Plzen v Schalke

Wisla Krakow v Standard Liege

Braga v Besiktas

Udinese v PAOK Salonika

Trabzonspor v PSV Eindhoven

Hannover v Club Brugge

Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon

UEFA

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