From crowd violence to racism and violation of Financial Fair Play regulations, these clubs faced bans for varied reasons.
Italian football suffered a major setback on Wednesday as AC Milan got banned from European football for a season. The Italian giants were found to be in breach of Financial Fair Play regulations after their spending spree last summer. The San Siro-based side bought the likes of Leonardo Bonucci for €42m, Andre Silva for €38m and a lot of youngsters to renew their squad completely, which led them to spend a whopping amount nearing €200m. The Serie A side were recently rumoured to be on the verge of going bankrupt, which probably is the main reason that forced UEFA to investigate and find a possible FFP breach.
The club finished sixth in the 2017-18 season and thus managed to grab a spot in the Europa League. Their exclusion has opened the door for Atlanta who finished seventh in the league, as they will fill the spot in place of Milan, while Fiorentina who finished eighth will get a chance to play in the second qualifying round of the competition. This is not the first instance of UEFA banning a club from playing in Europe, they have made such decisions in the past to keep football clean and fair.
Here’s a look at five such instances
1. Galatasaray (2016)
The Turkish giants received a ban from UEFA for breaching FFP in 2016. The club was banned from participating in UEFA club competitions for two seasons i.e. 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
Galatasaray did qualify for the 2016-17 Europa League, but were excluded. Osmanlispor who finished fifth in the league filled their spot.
2. Fenerbahçe SK and Beşiktaş JK (2013)
The Turkish clubs received bans for domestic match-fixing in 2013. Fenerbahçe received a three-year ban, while Besiktas were excluded from the 2013-14 Europa League.
Fenerbahce and Besiktas play one of the fiercest derbies in the world
3. English Football clubs (1985)
This was one of the most infamous and disturbing incidents in football history, The Heysel Stadium disaster led to UEFA banning all English clubs from European competitions indefinitely.
In 1985, during the European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool, a group of Liverpool supporters attacked Juventus fans which led to complete chaos in the stands. The fans escaping this altercation managed to reach behind a big wall in the stadium, but the violence was so furious that the wall collapsed.
39 people were killed and over 500 hundred were injured. UEFA finally lifted the ban in the 1990-91 season.
4. Fenerbahçe SK (2011)
The Turkish Elite league is always in the news, be it for disciplinary issues or match-fixing allegations. Fenerbahçe, the giants of the Turkish league were handed a one-year ban by UEFA which excluded them from participating in any UEFA club competitions.
They did qualify for the Champions League in the 2011-12 season, but Trabzonspor who finished second in the league filled their spot.
5. Malaga (2012)
The La Liga club were handed a four-season long ban by UEFA. Malaga failed to pay taxes and their players’ wages which led to UEFA intervening and taking the matter inrto their own hands.
The association decided to impose a four-season long ban, which was later reduced to one season. During this ban, Malaga were excluded from 2013-14 Europa League.
The ban hit the team badly as many of their players were sold in the coming season and the team which once used to challenge the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid became a mid-table outfit. Malaga were recently relegated from Spain’s top tier ending their 10-season long streak of playing in La Liga.