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Slovak club fights UEFA at CAS over Champions League forfeit

A member of the UEFA staff carries the Champions League trophy before the semifinal soccer match between RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)
A member of the UEFA staff carries the Champions League trophy before the semifinal soccer match between RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)

GENEVA – Fighting exclusion from the Champions League under new UEFA rules during the coronavirus pandemic, Slovan Bratislava failed to persuade the Court of Arbitration for Sport to stop its previous opponent from playing Wednesday in the next qualifying round.

CAS dismissed Slovan's request for an urgent interim ruling to postpone the match in Switzerland between Young Boys and KI Klaksvik.

Despite the court decision, announced about three hours before the game, Slovan plans to continue with a full appeal against UEFA after being denied the chance to play at Faeroe Islands champion KI in a twice-postponed game last week.

Public authorities in the Faeroe Islands put two different squads of Slovan’s players into quarantine after they reported virus cases in each group.

Slovan said Wednesday all 35 players tested negative after returning to Slovakia. The club disputed the decision by local authorities in the Faeroe Islands, whose decision-making power to manage suspected COVID-19 cases is granted by recently updated UEFA competition rules.

Slovan had to forfeit the qualifying game as a 3-0 loss.

That verdict — and the subsequent CAS ruling — has sent KI to play Swiss champion Young Boys in the second round of qualifying.

The new season was already delayed by the pandemic and qualifying rounds for this season's Champions League had to begin before the 2019-20 final was played last Sunday.