GENEVA – UEFA disqualified Metalist Kharkiv from the Champions League on Wednesday for links to match-fixing in Ukraine, and could now reinstate Greece's PAOK Thessaloniki.
World football's most prized club competition has further legal issues with another team, Fenerbahce, also fighting expulsion over a years-old domestic match-fixing case as it prepares to play Arsenal in the playoffs next week.
Metalist is also likely to challenge UEFA's verdict with an urgent appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Ukrainian club was scheduled to play Schalke next Wednesday in the first leg of the playoff round, after eliminating PAOK 3-1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round last week.
UEFA must now decide whether to reprieve PAOK, which is scheduled to play in the Europa League playoffs next week, or give Schalke a bye to the lucrative 32-team group stage.