Fenerbahce to meet Salzburg in third round

BRIAN HOMEWOOD
Last updated 02:00 20/07/2013

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Turkish club Fenerbahce were drawn against Salzburg in the Champions League third qualifying round today, one day after their two-year European ban for match-fixing was temporarily lifted.

Former European champions PSV Eindhoven, last season's Dutch league runners-up, were paired with Belgium's Zulte Waregem and Olympique Lyonnais, the other high profile team in the draw, will face Switzerland's Grasshoppers.

Lyonnais, third in Ligue One last season, qualified for the Champions League group stage for 12 seasons in a row before missing out last season.

Ambitious Russian side Zenit St Petersburg will face Denmark's Nordsjaelland, who made their group stage debut last season.

Fenerbahce and fellow Turkish club Besiktas, who have qualified for the Europa League, were handed European bans last month after a protracted UEFA inquiry following a domestic match-fixing scandal in 2011.

Fenerbahce were banned for two years and Besiktas one by European soccer's governing body UEFA. Both appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who yesterday lifted the bans until the final decision is taken.

CAS said the final decision on Fenerbahce will be issued before August 28, one day before the draw for the Champions League group stage takes place in Monaco.

UEFA could be left with a headache if Fenerbahce beat Salzburg, win their following qualifying round tie and subsequently lose their appeal at CAS.

Salzburg, formerly known as Austria Salzburg, have not qualified for the Champions League group stage since the club was taken over by the Red Bull energy drinks company in 2005.

Former European champions Steaua Bucharest are set for a tie against Georgian champions Dinamo Tbilisi, former winners of the European Cup Winners' Cup, if they complete their second round win over Vardar Skopje. The Romanians have a 3-0 first leg league while Tblisi have a 6-1 lead over Streymur of the Faroe Islands.

Celtic, the other former European champions in the hat, will almost certainly face Sweden's Elfsborg, if they complete a second qualifying round win over Cliftonville following a 3-0 win in their first leg. Elfsborg are 7-1 up against Daugava Daugavpils.

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- Reuters

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