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Malaga faces UEFA sanctions

GENEVA -- Champions League contender Malaga is facing UEFA sanctions for failing to pay millions of dollars in players' wages on time, and will likely have some prize money withheld.

UEFA said Friday that investigators from its Club Financial Control Body have referred Malaga and eight other clubs to the panel's judging chamber.

Malaga, which is owned by a Qatari investor, has reportedly failed to pay players a combined (euro) 9 million ($11.6 million).

The Spanish club has qualified for the Champions League final 16 and is due at least (euro) 25 million ($32 million) in prize money, bonuses and a share of Spanish television revenues from UEFA.

UEFA said the panel will examine nine clubs who played in this season's Champions League and Europa League whose prize money has been frozen because of unpaid players' wages, transfer fees or social taxes.

Sixteen clubs have been cleared -- including defending Europa League champion Atletico Madrid, Sporting Lisbon and Fenerbahce -- and will receive their prize money.

UEFA published a list of clubs under investigation in September who owed a combined (euro) 30 million ($38.4 million) in so-called "overdue payables."

Clubs must pay their soccer and tax debts as a condition of getting a license from their national association to play in UEFA competitions.

Malaga will be joined in the UEFA court by eight Europa League entrants: Bucharest clubs Dinamo and Rapid, Serbian clubs Partizan and Vojvodina, Hajduk Split and Osijek of Croatia, plus Lech Poznan of Poland and Arsenal Kiev of Ukraine. The latter two have been added to the original list of 23 since September.

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