Ban unlikely for Portuguese teams

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Portuguese clubs look set to avoid bans from Europe after FIFA dropped their threat to call an emergency meeting to settle a dispute.

World football's governing body were to consider taking action against the Portuguese Football Federation which could have seen Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon kicked out of the Champions League. A decision would have affected Manchester United and Celtic, who are in Benfica's group, while Porto are in Arsenal's.

The club at the centre of the controversy are Gil Vicente, who have taken legal action against the FPF after being relegated last season for gaining eligibility for a player - Angola star Mateus - at a civil court.

FIFA gave the FPF a deadline of September 14 to resolve the situation or face disciplinary action, which could see a ban being imposed on Portugal's national team and clubs.

But instead they will discuss the matter at a much less serious executive committee meeting on Friday.

A FIFA spokesman said: "FIFA have sent a letter to acknowledge receipt of what the Portuguese Football Federation are doing to resolve this matter.

"As a result we no longer find it necessary to convene an emergency committee which is good news for them. But the issue will still be addressed tomorrow by the executive committee.",1...1501978,00.html

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