Red Star Belgrade excluded from Champions League

Fans of Red Star Belgrade light flares in support of their team but could they miss out on the 2014/15 Champions League?

Story highlights

  • Red Star Belgrade banned from 2014/15 Champions League tournament
  • Serbian champions failed to pay debts
  • City rivals Partizan now stand to take Serbia's Champions League place

Red Star Belgrade have been excluded from next season's Champions League for failing to meet their debts.

The Serbian champions -- also known as FK Crvena Zvezda -- were found to be "in breach of a number of provisions of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations," a statement on UEFA's website said.

Red Star were due to enter the Champions League at the second qualifying round stage due to commence on July 15 and 16.

The Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body reported the case in early April "after becoming aware of the existence of overdue payables as a result of a complaint," the UEFA statement continued.

Patrick Vieira: Football changed my life

    Just Watched

    Patrick Vieira: Football changed my life

Patrick Vieira: Football changed my life 03:09
Football star: Bosnia needs world's help

    Just Watched

    Football star: Bosnia needs world's help

Football star: Bosnia needs world's help 01:45

"Accordingly, Crvena Zvezda are excluded from participating in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League for which they had qualified on sporting merit."

The club now have ten days to decide whether they will appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

City rival and league runner up, Partizan Belgrade, could be awarded Serbia's Champions League spot in Red Star's place while the country's football association may face a UEFA investigation of its own for granting a license to the club.

UEFA has looked to crack down on clubs overspending in recent years, introducing financial fair play rules which aim to stop teams getting into unmanageable debt.

Europe's governing body handed down sanctions to nine clubs last month, including English and French champions Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, for falling foul of the new rules.

Read: PSG and Chelsea agree David Luiz deal

Read: From bullet holes to Brazil

Read: Sex and soccer -- should teams abstain?

      Football Focus

    • After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
    • He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
    • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

      Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
    • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

      Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
    • One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
    • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

      Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
    • Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.