Dnipro banned from European football for one season
Last season’s Europa League runners-up Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk were among three teams banned from European competition for one season by UEFA on Thursday for breaching financial regulations.
Azeri club Inter Baku and Romania’s Targu Mures were also given one-season suspensions along with the Ukrainian side who were beaten by Sevilla in last season’s Europa final.
UEFA said in a statement the bans would apply to the next season in which the clubs qualify for European competition and would be in force for the next three campaigns.
The European governing body did not give any more details and said the full decisions would be published next week.
Dnipro coach Myron Markevych said the club, who twice won the old Soviet league and reached the European Cup quarter-finals in 1985 and 1990, was struggling with debt and had not paid the players on time.
“I did not imagine this could have happened to the club that was playing in the Europa League final half a year ago,” Markevych, whose side knocked out Ajax Amsterdam and Napoli in last season’s Europe League, told the Segodnya newspaper.
“The team are well known in Europe and worldwide. How could it happen? I am not aware of the president’s plans and how he sees the future of the club.”
Markevych, who replaced Juande Ramos in 2014, added: “We’ve got new debts. I know the foreign players are making new complaints. We have not been paid for four months at all.
“It’s clear that if the club is banned from the European stage there is no reason to stay here. I’d like to work at the serious level a little bit more, not just to serve my duty.
“This is very bad for us. We have been playing on the European stage for 10 years and now we have been kicked off for something which is not the fault of the players and coaches.
“Dnipro is a serious club, a big name. At least, it was. I am not running the club. It’s hard for me to talk about that. It’s very unclear.”