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UEFA takes Mechelen out of Europa League for match-fixing

July 18, 2019

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has removed Mechelen from the Europa League group stage after reviewing its investigation of alleged match-fixing in Belgium last year.

UEFA says its appeals body overturned a decision from Monday to admit the Belgian cup winner.

The new decision follows a sports court in Belgium upholding an earlier disciplinary verdict of the national soccer federation that Mechelen fixed a top-tier league game on the last day of the 2017-18 season.

The court’s ruling prompted the Belgian federation to withdraw Mechelen’s Europa League entry.

UEFA says Standard Liege is upgraded to the group stage, and Royal Antwerp advances by one qualifying round.

Gent, which had not originally qualified for the Europa League, was given a spot in the second qualifying round, where it will face Viitorul Constanta of Romania on July 25.

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