UEFA takes Mechelen out of Europa League for match-fixing

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.

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

A new entry is created for Gent which now faces Viitorul Constanta in the second qualifying round on July 25.

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