Fenerbahce draws Vaslui in Champions League
NYON, Switzerland (AP) -Turkish club Fenerbahce is set to return to the Champions League against FC Vaslui of Romania in the third qualifying round after serving a one-year exile during a match-fixing investigation.
Fenerbahce, whose president was convicted of fixing in a criminal trial this month, was included in draw Friday. However, UEFA is still examining whether the club meets entry rules.
Clubs must not have been involved in fixing any match since April 2007.
Motherwell, the Scottish league runner-up that gained the spot after indebted Rangers were excluded, will be at home first against Panathinaikos.
Two former European champions were in the draw: Celtic, the 1967 winner, is home first against HJK Helsinki or KR Reykjavik. Feyenoord, the 1970 winner, travels first to Dynamo Kiev.
Fenerbahce was withdrawn from the Champions League just days before the group-stage draw because of an investigation into match fixing allegation during its 2011 league title run.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said the status of Fenerbahce - which finished second in May to qualify for this season's competition - could still change. UEFA disciplinary inspectors are studying files including Turkish Football Federation decisions which cleared the club's entry.
"It's a complicated case and our disciplinary bodies are going through the procedure,'' Infantino told The Associated Press after the draw. "It's a big dossier. It's literally thousands of pages of work.''
The officials from the Turkish club declined to comment Friday.
Fenerbahce is scheduled to host Vaslui on July 31 or Aug. 1. The club could still be expelled after having played.
Greek club Volos was removed from the Europa League qualifying rounds last season, and a previous opponent was restored to the competition.
When Fenerbahce was denied its group-stage place last year, Trabzonspor was reinstated despite having already been beaten in the qualifying rounds.
Motherwell finished third in the Scottish Premier League but took the second Champions League spot which Rangers had to forfeit.
"We think we have earned the right to be here,'' said Motherwell director Andrew Wilson. "We're very excited and Panathinaikos is one of the iconic clubs of European football.''
The Scottish club has the advantage of starting its league three weeks before the season starts in Greece in late August.
In other matches drawn Friday, FC Copenhagen will host Club Bruges first, and Belgian champion Anderlecht is home first against Shamrock Rovers or Ekranas.
FC Basel, which eliminated Manchester United in the group stage last season, will face either Molde of Norway or Latvia's Ventspils if it completes an expected second qualifying round win against Flora Tallinn of Estonia next week.
In the third qualifying round, first-leg matches are played on July 31-Aug. 1 and return matches are on Aug. 7-8.
Winners advance to a 20-team playoff round which decides who will join 22 elite teams which got direct entry to the groups.
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