FC Sion take UEFA row to European Commission

Swiss club FC Sion said on Monday they have filed a suit against UEFA at the European Commission over the disqualification of their players that led to the club's exclusion from the Europa League.

FC Sion take UEFA row to European Commission
Celtic Photos

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

The Swiss side had taken the case to several regional courts which found in their favour.

UEFA has so far not complied with the Swiss court ruling but said it would comply with a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is due to deliberate on November 24th.

FC Sion’s complaint, which was filed jointly with some of their players, claims that UEFA violated rules, including the “right of access to an independent and impartial judge” as well as the free movement of workers under the EU-Swiss treaty.

“Two Swiss jurisdictions have ruled in our favour but UEFA continues to openly violate these two decisions and insist that the CAS has the last say,” said Christian Constantin, president of the club.

“As a result, as others before us, we have been constrained to bring this case before the EU justice,” he added.

The club has hired Jean-Louis Dupont as its litigator.

Dupont had argued the case for Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman against his club FC Liege, which had refused the player’s transfer to French club Dunkirk.

In 1995, the European Community’s court found in Bosman’s favour as it ruled that UEFA’s rules contradicted an EU treaty on the free movement of people.

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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.