Volos lose appeal against Europa ban

ZURICH - Greek club Olympiakos Volos have lost an appeal against their exclusion from this season's Europa League following their alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal, UEFA said on Tuesday.

The decision means that Luxemburg's Differdange will take Volos's place in the Europa League qualifying round this week and host Paris Saint-Germain in their first leg on Thursday.

Volos are also banned from UEFA competition for a further three years, although this has been deferred for a probationary period of five seasons.

Volos said last week that they would take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Greek football is still reeling from the probe into its biggest match-fixing scandal which erupted in June.

More than 60 individuals including club officials, players and businessmen are being investigated by the Athens prosecutor.

The probe was prompted by UEFA which submitted a list of 41 matches it said were under suspicion to the Greek federation (EPO).

The list included games from the top flight and the second division over the last three seasons, as well as several Greek Cup matches.

The Greek Super League's disciplinary committee last month voted to relegate Volos to the second division along with Kavala over the affair. Both teams appealed to the federation and were reprieved last week, although they will start the new season with points deductions.

Volos President Achilleas Beos, in prison pending trial for his alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal, and former Kavala owner Makis Psomiadis, also identified by the Athens prosecutor in the fixing probe, last month received life bans from football.