GENEVA (AP) – FC Sion has lost its latest court case against football authorities, and been suspended from a group representing Europe's top clubs for pursuing legal fights against FIFA, UEFA and the Swiss League.
The Swiss Football Association (ASF) said Wednesday that a Bern regional court rejected the club's request for an injunction against the deduction of 36 league points.
''The ASF takes note of the court's decision with satisfaction,'' the federation said in a statement.
Sion said it would file an appeal, because it believed the ASF had overreached its disciplinary powers.
The verdict followed Sion's suspension by the 200-member European Club Association for flouting football's legal statutes.
Sion is stuck on minus-4 points in a Swiss top division reduced to nine teams with Neuchatel Xamax having collapsed into bankruptcy. It must close a 15-point gap to eighth-place Lausanne-Sport to avoid an end-of-season relegation playoff with a second-tier team.
The Swiss FA acted at FIFA's urging in December to punish Sion for by taking its disputes to civil courts outside of the sport's legal framework.
Sion had flouted rules by trying to register six players signed in the offseason during a transfer embargo imposed by FIFA. That sanction followed the club's 2008 signing of goalkeeper Essam el Hadary which breached contract regulations.
When Sion fielded some ineligible players in Europa League matches last August, the club sparked a complex and aggressive fight with UEFA to overturn its expulsion from the competition.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport issued a definitive verdict in December, upholding UEFA's right to bar Sion. CAS had previously backed FIFA's imposition of a one-year transfer ban.
The European clubs' lobby group, led by Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has now cited its cooperation agreements with FIFA and UEFA as reason to suspend Sion's membership.
''ECA shall and must ensure that all its clubs are committed to adhere to the FIFA and UEFA statutes and regulations, and recognize the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as the sole competent body to decide on sports-related disputes,'' it said in a statement.