UEFA gives thumbs up for KV Mechelen’s Europa League participation

The winners of last season’s Belgian Cup KV Mechelen is to be allowed to compete in the Europa League. There had been doubts as to whether KV Mechelen that was the last Belgian club to win a European trophy (the UEFA Cup and the European Super Cup in 1988) would be allowed to compete. The club is currently the subject of an investigation into match-fixing.

Last week the Belgian Sport Arbitration Court (BAS) ruled that the club that also won last season’s Second Division Champion should be allowed to be promoted to the First Division.

Now UEFA has said that unless BAS rules that KV Mechelen should not be allowed to participate in European competition it has no issues with its participation in the 2019-2020 Europa League. As the winner of the Belgian Cup, KV Mechelen has qualified directly for the group stage of the competition.      

The decision means that Royal Antwerp FC that finished 4th last season will take on the Romanian side Viitorul on Thursday week in the second qualifying round of the Europa. Had KV Mechelen have been excluded this honour would have fallen to AA Gent.