Bundesliga surprise package, RB Leipzig and Austrian champions, Red Bull Salzburg, have been cleared by European football governing body, UEFA, to participate in next season’s Champions League.
Leipzig, who were runners-up in the Bundesliga, and Salzburg, champions of Austria, were in danger of missing out on the elite competition after appearing to breach UEFA rules which prevent clubs from the same ownership playing in the competition.
Both clubs are owned by energy drink coy, Red Bull Conglomerate, but compete in different leagues.
However, after looking into the issue, UEFA, through an official statement, says both clubs will now be allowed to compete in the 2017/2018 season.
“Following a thorough investigation, and further to several important governance and structural changes made by the clubs (regarding corporate matters, financing, personnel, sponsorship arrangements, etc.), the CFCB deemed that no individual or legal entity had anymore a decisive influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition,” the statement read.
Reacting to the news, Leipzig were pleased by UEFA’s positive decision.
“We are very pleased with UEFA’s positive decision,” Sporting director, Oliver Mintzlaff told the club’s official website.
“This decision follows a detailed analysis and is the result of an open and transparent exchange with UEFA at all times.
“In this constructive process, changes have been made with our shareholders to comply with the rules on the integrity of the competition. We are now part of UEFA and are looking forward to the Champions League together with our competitors,” Mintzlaff added.
While both clubs are expectedly happy with UEFA’s decision, the governing body was quick to leave a warning.
“[We will] continue to monitor both clubs. In addition, the decision can still be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 10 days,” UEFA added.