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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 20, 2007

League defend Granada against FIFA and UEFA

MADRID, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The Spanish Football League (LFP) will contest the decision by FIFA and UEFA to exclude Granada 74 from the second division league championship which starts on Aug. 25.

The world and European football governing bodies, together with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), met in Zurich on Monday after Granada 74 became the first Spanish club to take advantage of new regulations, buying a place in a higher league.

'We believe that they have a right to be inscribed in the competition,' LFP president Jose Luis Astiazaran told Spanish state radio.

'We will do all we can to ensure they start the competition.'

FIFA and UEFA have said the move 'violates one of the fundamental principles of football.

'Clubs should be promoted for their sporting results on the field of play, and not through financial or commercial operations,' the two bodies said in a joint statement earlier this month.

Spanish media said Granada 74 president Carlos Marsa paid about 20 million euros ($26.99 million) to buy Ciudad de Murcia's place in the second division, but had to sell the club's stadium to finance the deal.

Granada 74, who earned promotion from the Andalucian league to the regionally-based Tercera (fourth) division last season, have been forced to locate 70 km away to Motril on the south coast to find a stadium that met competition standards.

Spanish Football Federation referees have refused to officiate the team's pre-season matches.

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