UPDATE : 2019.12.12 THU 17:52
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Reigning Asian club football champs appeal to CAS over competition ban

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean football club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have appealed to the world's top sports tribunal over a ban from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) released a statement on Saturday (Korean time) that the reigning AFC Champions League (ACL) champions have filed an "urgent request for provisional measures" against the Entry Control Body (ECB) decision on Jan. 18.

The ECB, a judicial body independent of the AFC, barred Jeonbuk from the 2017 AFC Champions League for their "indirect involvement in activities aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of matches."

The CAS added it intends to issue its decision by Feb. 3.

Last September, one of Jeonbuk's scouts was convicted of bribing referees in 2013. They were docked nine points by the K League's disciplinary committee -- which cost them a chance to win their third straight domestic league title -- and were fined 100 million won (US$85,680).

Jeonbuk went on to win the ACL in November by beating Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates. Jeonbuk also secured their spot in the 2017 ACL by finishing second in the K League Classic.

The CAS said Jeonbuk seek "an order staying the execution of the challenged decision in order to be able to participate in the competition."

Jeonbuk have been claiming that there was no match fixing and the ECB decision is a "double punishment" since they've already received a penalty from the K League's disciplinary committee.

The two-time ACL champions previously said they want the CAS ruling out before Ulsan Hyundai FC -- a fellow South Korean club that entered the ACL following Jeonbuk's disqualification -- play their first match at the ACL on Feb. 7.

Ulsan, ranked fourth in the domestic league last year, are scheduled to face Kitchee of Hong Kong on Feb. 7 in an ACL playoff match. The winner of this match will join Group E.

After the ECB decision, the AFC said Jeju United, which earned an ACL playoff spot after finishing third in the K League Classic, will take Jeonbuk's place in Group H and Ulsan will get into the playoffs in Jeju's stead.

Kim Hyung-dae  edt@koreapost.com

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