UEFA rules make RB Leipzig Champions League bow uncertain despite qualifying

UEFA ownership rules mean Red Bull Salzburg of Austria would

BY Raf Diallo 15:26 Monday 15 May 2017, 15:26 15 May 2017

Leipzig's fans perform a choreogrphay during the German Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, Germany, 13 May 2017. Hendrik Schmidt/DPA/PA Images

German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig could miss out on the chance to play Champions League football next season, despite qualifying for the competition through the league this season.

RB Leipzig and Austria's Red Bull Salzburg have both qualified through their respective domestic leagues but both clubs are owned by energy drinks giant Red Bull.

UEFA rules do not allow clubs with strong ownership links to compete in the same tournament.

According to the rules, Salzburg would get the nod for the Champions League as they finished higher up in their domestic competition by winning the Austrian Bundesliga this season as opposed to RB Leipzig who managed a surprise second place finish in Germany.

UEFA rules for the Champions League states: "If two or more clubs fail to meet the criteria aimed at ensuring the integrity of the competition, only one of them may be admitted to a UEFA club competition, in accordance with the following criteria (applicable in descending order):

"a. the club which qualifies on sporting merit for the more prestigious UEFA club competition (i.e., in descending order: UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League);

"b. the club which was best-ranked in the domestic championship giving access
to the relevant UEFA club competition;

"c. the club whose association has the highest association coefficient ranking,
drawn up in accordance with Annex D."

However, RB Leipzig's CEO Oliver Mintzlaff had voiced confidence that the German club would make it into the Champions League for next season.

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