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Switzerland Escapes Ban Over SION

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BERNE: Switzerland has escaped international suspension after world football’s governing body accepted its decision to deduct 36 points from rebel club Sion, who had defied FIFA and UEFA by taking a case over ineligible players to a civil court.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday that its emergency committee had considered the decision and that “the SFV (Swiss FA) will consequently not be suspended in relation to the FIFA Executive Committee’s decision of December 16.”

“However, FIFA has requested the SFV to keep the international football governing body informed on any future developments with regards to this matter,” it added.

Football’s governing body, whose headquarters are in Zurich, had threatened to kick out Switzerland at its executive committee meeting in Japan last month.

It had told the SFV to award 3-0 walkover wins to Sion’s opponents but the SFV argued this would distort the league by giving points to other clubs.

An international ban would have prevented Switzerland from playing international matches and would also have led to FC Basel, due to play Bayern Munich in the last 16, being expelled from the Champions League

FIFA had been widely criticised for its ultimatum, with the world players’ union FIFPro saying it was wrong that FC Basel players should be punished for the actions of the Sion management.

The Swiss Players’ Union had accused FIFA of playing ‘power games’. Last week, the SFV deducted three points for each of the 12 domestic matches in which Sion had fielded any of six players signed in the summer when the club was subjected to a FIFA transfer ban.