- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Albania league winner Skenderbeu’s expulsion from the Champions League qualifying rounds for match-fixing has been confirmed by sport’s highest court.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced its verdict on Wednesday to dismiss Skenderbeu’s appeal and uphold rulings by UEFA’s judicial bodies. UEFA rules bar clubs from its competitions if they are linked to match-fixing.

Skenderbeu had been included in the second-round qualifying draw pending the verdict. The club was due to play Hungarian champion Ferencvaros in a two-legged match between July 12 and 20.

In a previous statement, Skenderbeu said an inquiry into claims of fixed matches in national and European competitions was based on information from betting companies.

UEFA said its betting fraud monitoring system “identified certain betting patterns which were in total contradiction with those expected in a regular betting market.”

Skenderbeu’s place in the Champions League will be taken by last season’s runner-up, Partizani, UEFA ruled on Wednesday.

Tirana-based Partizani already played a Europa League first qualifying round, first-leg game, drawing 0-0 at home to Slovan Bratislava, which now advances to the next round.

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