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Porto reinstated to Champions League

Paul-K

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BERNE, June 16 (Reuters) - Porto will be allowed to compete in next season's Champions League despite an ongoing investigation into the alleged bribery of referees, UEFA said on Monday. "They will be able to take part in the competition next season," said UEFA spokesman William Gaillard.

"Any sanctions brought against them (by UEFA) will apply from the following season."

UEFA said on Friday, in light of new evidence submitted in relation to domestic Portuguese appeals procedures, it would reassess Porto's position after annulling the decision to exclude the club over alleged bribery of referees in the 2003-04 season.

UEFA's initial decision came after disciplinary action was taken last month against the club by Portuguese soccer authorities.

The Disciplinary Commission of the Professional Portuguese Football League stripped Porto of six points and fined the club 150,000 euros ($230,400) after its probe of two matches in 2003-04.

There has been a lengthy investigation into the so-called "Apito Dourado," or Golden Whistle case in Portugal and it has been headline news for several years.

© Reuters 2008. All rights reserved.

http://football.uk.reuters.com/european/news/L16408969.php