Salzburg seal Austrian title to put RB Leipzig’s UCL place in doubt

Salzburg seal Austrian title to put RB Leipzig’s UCL place in doubt

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FC Salzburg clinched a fourth straight Austrian Bundesliga title with a 1-0 win against Rapid Vienna on Saturday — meaning UEFA will need to decide on whether RB Leipzig can compete in next season’s Champions League.

Salzburg, who have been knocked out in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League in each of the past five seasons, secured their spot in next term’s competition after claiming their latest title with the victory over Rapid.

However, with both Salzburg and Leipzig — who have already qualified for the Champions League — having links with Austrian soft drink giants Red Bull, they could violate UEFA rules about owners controlling more than one team in its competitions.

Since UEFA statutes forbid two teams owned by the same company, sponsor or individual to take part in its competitions, there have been doubts as to whether the governing body will allow both teams to compete in Europe next season.

According to UEFA statutes, the team finishing higher in their domestic league would be allowed to compete and, in this case, that would be Salzburg. Leipzig finished second in the German Bundesliga.

Leipzig, who lost 5-4 to Bayern Munich on Saturday, said earlier this week that they are confident of complying with UEFA rules and will not be kicked out of the Champions League.

UEFA said earlier this week: “All criteria, including matters of ownership, will be verified for each club by UEFA only once we have received the competition entry forms and documentation from the national football associations and clubs, following the end of the season in the respective leagues [in June].”

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