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By ESPN Staff

Malaga faces UEFA action over non-payments

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

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

Malaga, who are owned by a Qatari investor, have reportedly failed to pay players a combined sum of 9 million euros ($A11.29 million).

The Spanish club have qualified for the Champions League last 16 and are due at least 25 million euros ($A31.35 million) in prize money, bonuses and a share of Spanish TV revenues from UEFA.

UEFA says the judging panel will examine nine clubs from this season's Champions League and Europa League which have 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 now receive their prize money after being cleared by the UEFA finance monitors.

Investigators "adjudged that the necessary financial requirements had been implemented" by a September 30 deadline, UEFA said in a statement.

UEFA published a list of 23 clubs under investigation in September who owed a combined 30 million euros in so-called "overdue payables."

Clubs must pay their football and tax debts as a condition of getting a licence 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.

UEFA has enforced a licensing system for almost a decade but the rules and potential sanctions have gained a higher profile in the "Financial Fair Play" era.

Since 2011, UEFA has been monitoring finances more closely and now requires clubs to aim toward breaking even on their football-related business as a condition of entry for the Champions League and Europa League.

The two competitions have attracted total commercial revenue of almost 1.6 billion euros for each season from 2012-15, with most shared among clubs playing in the group stages.

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