UEFA has handed Partizan Belgrade a one-year ban from European competition. European football's governing body handed down the ruling due to debts left unpaid by the Serbian club.
A statement released by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) adjudicatory chamber on Wednesday said that FK Partizan would be excluded from playing in the Europa League or Champions League should they qualify for either of the tournaments in the next three years.
The board said this was due to the fact that, as of last September, Partizan had racked up unpaid debts to the tune of 2.5 million euros ($2.6 million), mainly to the Serbian social and tax authorities.
The CFCB said that due to "a remarkably similar set of circumstances" to Partizan's last debt case in 2013, when it was given a suspended one-year ban from European competitions, that only a harsher punishment "is appropriate and also capable of producing a general deterrent effect." It also noted that the Belgrade club had broken UEFA's rules on unpaid debt three times over the last five years.
The club may appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland - and has 10 days to do so.
Partizan, along with Red Star Belgrade is one of Serbia's two biggest clubs, having won the old Yugoslavian league 10 times and the Serbian SuperLiga seven times, most recently in 2015.
pfd/mp (dpa, AP)