Date:Wednesday July 11 2007
Blackburn Rovers are to face Lithuanian team FK Vetra after the match between Polish outfit and experienced European campaigners Legia Warsaw and Vetra was abandoned due to crowd trouble, resulting in the expulsion of Legia.
FK Vetra and Legia Warsaw played last Sunday but the game had to be abandoned due to crowd trouble from Legia supporters. Vetra were in the lead at the time.
UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body met on Wednesday and expelled them from the competition and for one future season due to the clashes between Legia fans and Police.
Legia do have until Saturday to lodge an appeal against the decision, should they see fit to do so, however, Mark Hughes suggested prior to this decision that Legia should and would be expelled from the competition after the incident.
FK Vetra were awarded with a 3-0 win by default and are now expected to play Rovers at the Vetra Stadium on either the 21st or 22nd of July, with the return leg at Ewood Park the weekend of the 28th/29th July, pending any appeal from the Polish team.
This, in my opinion is good news as, not only to we get a perceived 'easier' tie (OK, I know there's no easy games in Europe any more, Trelleborgs taught us that lesson, but given the choice I think most Rovers fans would have wanted Vetra) and also that UEFA are finally making a stand against teams that have crowd trouble.
It will be interesting to see whether they enforce the same rulings should some of last season's issues, primarily with the Champions League teams, raise their heads again.
One feels that UEFA may bottle the big decisions once again but maybe, just maybe, they are starting to sit up and take these issues seriously at last.
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Date:Wednesday July 11 2007
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