Austrian test for Aston Villa, German clubs given favourable draw

Austrian test for Aston Villa, German clubs given favourable draw Nyon, Switzerland - Aston Villa will need to overcome Rapid Vienna if Martin O'Neill's side are to make it to the group stages of the inaugural Europa League following Friday's draw while the three German clubs will be reasonably pleased with their opponents.

Hertha Berlin have been given the toughest task after being pitted against Denmark's Brondby while SV Hamburg should progress at the expense of French second division side EA Guingamp.

FC Porto admitted to Champions League

FC PortoNyon, Switzerland - Portuguese champions FC Porto will be allowed compete in this season's Champions League after European football's ruling body UEFA lifted a threat to ban the club from competing over its involvement in a bribery and match-fixing scandal.

UEFA's disciplinary committee ruled Thursday that Porto can take their place in the 32-team group phase this season as the time limit for dealing with allegations that the club bribed referees and fixed Portuguese league matches in the 2003-04 season had passed.

Green oversight for festival lets music flower

Green oversight for festival lets music flowerNyon, Switzerland  - Concert organizer Brian Little was in Switzerland on a mission: his forthcoming music festival in South Africa aims to be carbon neutral, with a strong "leave no trace" approach, and he was touring the Alpine scene to get an education.

Sitting backstage at the Paleo Festival near Nyon, just north of Geneva this week, he was impressed. Paleo, which claims to be the second-largest outdoor music festival in Europe, has been voted one of the continent's greenest by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Drogba, Boswinga receive bans over Barcelona incidents

Drogba, Boswinga receive bans over Barcelona incidentsNyon, Switzerland  - Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has been suspended for six UEFA club competition matches following incidents at the Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona last month, UEFA said Wednesday.

UEFA's control and disciplinary body said the suspensions relating to the last two matches will be deferred for a probationary period of two years.

Norway, Scotland and Denmark get extra Europa League place

Norway, Scotland and Denmark get extra Europa League place Nyon, Switzerland  - Europe's governing football body UEFA on Monday announced that Norway, Denmark and Scotland had each been granted an extra slot in the first qualifying round of next season's Europa League after topping the UEFA Respect Fair Play ranking.

In a statement issued by UEFA, the organisation said that Norway topped the rankings, based on all UEFA competition matches played at club and national-team levels between May 1, 2008 and April 30, 2009.

Platini calls for tough action against racism

Platini calls for tough action against racismNyon, Switzerland - Europe's governing football body UEFA on Tuesday called for tough action against racism in football stadiums and said they would not rule out abandoning matches.

"It is our wish that matches are interrupted for ten minutes if there are racist chants in a stadium. There should also be stadium announcements. If the chants continue the game should be abandoned," UEFA President Michel Platini said.

"We need to be brave when there is racism on the terraces. That is UEFA's brief."

Macedonian club Podeba banned over match-fixing

UEFANyon, Switzerland  - Macedonian football club FK Podeba was banned for eight years from European events by the ruling body UEFA on Friday over a match-fixing scheme.

The UEFA disciplinary committee ruled that Podeba deliberately lost a Champions League qualifying match in 2004 against Armenian club Pyunik.

UEFA said that club president Aleksandar Zabrcanec and the team's former captain Nikolce Zdravevski were handed life bans because they fixed the outcome of the game in a betting scheme. (dpa)

MasterCard renew Champions League sponsorship

MasterCard renew Champions League sponsorship Nyon, Switzerland - Credit card company MasterCard has renewed its contract as European Champions League sponsor until 2012, Europe's ruling body UEFA said on Tuesday.

UEFA said in a statement that the long-time partner MasterCard will continue its Champions League engagement 2009-2012 and that with the European Super Cup until
2011. MasterCard joins Heineken, Sony and UniCredit as Champions League sponsors for the new cycle. (dpa)

UEFA accuses Macedonian club of match-fixing

UEFA accuses Macedonian club of match-fixinNyon, Switzerland - The president of Macedonian club Pobeda as well as a player have been charged for match-fixing, UEFA announced Thursday.

"UEFA has announced today that the Macedonian club FK Pobeda, its president and one player have been charged for being in breach of the principles of integrity and sportsmanship by manipulating the outcome of a UEFA match to gain an undue advantage for themselves and a third party," said European football's ruling body in a statement.

Manchester City face SV Hamburg in UEFA Cup

Manchester City face SV Hamburg in UEFA Cup Nyon, Switzerland - The only Premier League club remaining in the UEFA Cup, Manchester City, were on Friday drawn into a quarter-final clash against Bundesliga side SV Hamburg.

The draw conducted in Nyon saw the other remaining German team in the competition, Werder Bremen, having to take on Serie A's only remaining club, Udinese.

The two remaining French sides were both given Ukrainian opposition, with Paris Saint-Germain facing Dynamo Kiev, while Shakhtar Donetsk face Olympique Marseille.

United get Porto as Barcelona draw Bayern Munich

United get Porto as Barcelona draw Bayern Munich Nyon, Switzerland - Holders Manchester United and FC Porto were drawn against each other in the Champions League quarter-finals in Friday's draw made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

German champions Bayern Munich face a much sterner task in the form of Spanish Liga leaders Barcelona while last year's finalists Chelsea take on English Premier League rivals Liverpool in a European competition for the fifth season in succession.

UEFA confirm four in the running for Euro 2016

UEFA confirm four in the running for Euro 2016 Nyon, Switzerland - France and Italy will be battling to stage football's European Championships in 2016, UEFA confirmed on Tuesday.

Europe's governing body has also received proposals from Turkey and a joint bid from Sweden and Norway.

UEFA said the candidates will have to submit bid dossiers by February 2010. UEFA officials will then visit the bidding countries to evaluate their plans.

Its executive committee will make a final decision on May 27, 2010.

UEFA announces hosts of club competitions

UEFA announces hosts of club competitions  Nyon, Switzerland - Europe's governing body UEFA on Thursday announced the hosts of the 2011 and 2012 European club competition finals.

UEFA said that the organization's executive committee had awarded the final of the 2011 Champions League to Wembley Stadium in London, while the Fussball Arena in Munich will host the Champions League a year later.

German clubs given tough challenges in UEFA Cup

AC Milan LogoNyon, Switzerland - Werder Bremen will face seven-time European champions AC Milan in the UEFA Cup's round of 32 following the draw made in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday.

Holders Zenit St Petersburg also face German opposition in the form of VfB Stuttgart while SV Hamburg have been pitted against Dutch side NEC Nijmegen and VfL Wolfsburg take on Paris St Germain.

Big-spending Manchester City will expect to progress at the expense of FC Copenhagen but Aston Villa face a challenging task against CSKA Moscow. Tottenham Hotspur will also need to be at their best if they want to overcome Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

United up against Inter, Real Madrid face Liverpool

Inter Milan LogoNyon, Switzerland - Defending champions Manchester United will face Inter Milan in one of three English-Italian duels in the European Champions League round of
16 drawn Friday by the ruling body UEFA.

Last year's beaten finalists Chelsea take Juventus, now managed by former Blues boss Claudio Ranieri, and Arsenal play Roma in the other duel between the Serie A and Premier League in the first knockout stage.

The fourth English club, Liverpool, were also given a difficult opponent in record winners Real Madrid at the draw made at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

180 clubs receive UEFA solidarity payments for players at Euro 2008

UEFA LogoNyon, Switzerland - UEFA announced Thursday that it has finalised the
financial calculations regarding payments to Europe's national football
federations for them to pass on to their clubs for their contribution
to Euro 2008.

The payments are part of the agreement signed between UEFA and the
European Club Association (ECA) in January of this year which allowed
for the distribution of 43.5 million euros (55.1 million dollars) of
Euro 2008 revenue to the national federations.

A total of 180 clubs are set to benefit from the scheme with the clubs
providing the greatest number players for the tournament in Austria and

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