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Benfica, Vitoria lose Porto Champions League appeal

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 15 Jul 2008

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Portuguese sides Benfica and Vitoria Guimaraes have lost their appeal against UEFA's decision to allow FC Porto to play in next seaons's Champions League despite a match-fixing scandal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has said.

Benfica and Vitoria filed an appeal at the Lausanne-based court on June 26, after UEFA earlier that month overturned their own decision to ban Porto, the 2004 continental champions, because of a procedural error.

UEFA barred Porto from next season's competition on May 9 after the disciplinary commission of the Portuguese league found them guilty and fined the club 150,000 euros, docked them six points and suspended the club's president Jorge Pinto da Costa for two years for their part in events dating back to 2004.

Porto's exclusion would have meant third-placed Vitoria qualified directly for the group stages and Benfica had a berth in the third qualifying round.

The costs of the case will be split evenly between the two clubs and UEFA, CAS said in a statement.

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