Sion take Europa feud to Bern

Swiss club FC Sion took their feud against UEFA to Bern on Wednesday, saying that they had written to ask the Swiss finance minister to withdraw tax breaks to Europe's football governing body.

The move came a day after UEFA threw out the Swiss side’s appeal against their expulsion from the Europa League, despite a Swiss regional court’s ruling ordering UEFA to reinstate Sion to the tournament.

In a statement published on their website, Sion said the “two organisations cannot claim to be of any public interest while benefitting from financial advantages that cost several tens of millions to taxpayers every year.”

“Furthermore, the two commercial entities defy and openly flout Swiss civil justice.

“By violating twice Swiss civil justice’s decision, they demonstrate a behaviour that is unqualified towards their host country,” said the club.

On Tuesday, the Tribunal Cantonal de Vaud asked UEFA to reinstate Sion to the Europa League.

However, UEFA rejected the demand, saying that the measures ordered by the court were made “without hearing UEFA and solely based on the arguments of FC Sion.”

“UEFA underlines the fact that its two independent disciplinary organs have established that FC Sion fielded several ineligible players in their matches against Celtic FC,” said UEFA in its statement late Tuesday.

“This was explicitly confirmed by FIFA, and that is why the club has been sanctioned with two forfeit defeats,” added UEFA.

The Swiss club were thrown out of the tournament on September 2nd after being found guilty of fielding ineligible players, with Celtic handed their place in the group stages despite losing the play-offs 3-1 on aggregate.

Sion had vowed to fight their expulsion but lost their appeal to be reinstated during a UEFA hearing on Tuesday.

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‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said.