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Austrian Side Deducted Points And Lose Top Spot For Breaking Social Distancing

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Austrian Side Deducted Points And Lose Top Spot For Breaking Social Distancing

Austrian Bundesliga leaders LASK Linz have been deducted 12 points and are no longer on top of the table, after the club were punished for breaking social distancing laws.

LASK broke Covid-19 related safety rules during training ahead of the league restarting on June 2nd by starting full contact sessions when clubs had only been allowed to train in small groups.

On Thursday the league revealed that the club would be deducted 12 points in all for their breach, but with the league split into two sections they've been deducted six from each, as well as a €75,000 fine.

The six points taken now means that LASK are now three points behind Red Bull Salzburg after dropping from top spot.

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Two weeks ago the 11 other clubs in the league released a statement to say they believed LASK had broken the rules on how clubs could return to training.

LASK topped a Europa League group with Sporting, PSV and Rosenborg. Image: PA Images
LASK topped a Europa League group with Sporting, PSV and Rosenborg. Image: PA Images

The former league leaders released their own statement claiming they were the victims of 'industrial espionage,' even before the clubs accused them of foul play.

In a statement on Thursday the club said they would appeal the decision to dock them points, "We received the verdict of the Senate 1 orally this afternoon. After evaluating the present decision, we agreed to call the protest committee of the Bundesliga as a second-instance body.

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"Specifically, we consider the sanctions expressed in the judgment to be a deduction of 12 points before the division of points and the € 75,000 penalty payment is disproportionate.

"We have therefore exercised our right and immediately protested the excessive judgment."

There are 10 games left in the league, when it returns at the beginning of next month, and LASK will be hoping to continue their form from before the lockdown in order to beat reigning champions Salzburg to the title.

As well as the league, the former league leaders are still in the Europa League, although their future in the competition isn't looking good.

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The Austrian side played against Manchester United behind closed doors in one of the last games before the sport went into near total lockdown.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side ran out 5-0 winners away from home and would be certain of progress through to the quarters finals, if the competition restarts in August when it's planned to.

Topics: Red Bull Salzburg, Europa League, Manchester United, Erling Haaland, Austria

Ryan Sidle
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