(Reuters) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed Chinese side Shandong Luneng's appeal to reverse their expulsion from this year's Asian Champions League, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Wednesday.
The Chinese FA Cup winners were removed from the continent's elite club competition in February after the AFC cancelled their license to play in the tournament due to "overdue payables".
"The Asian Football Confederation welcomes the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to dismiss the appeal lodged by Shandong Luneng ...," the AFC said in a statement https://www.the-afc.com/afc-home/about-afc/legal/news/afc-entry-control-body-decision-upheld-by-cas on Wednesday.
After Shandong were removed, former Chinese champions Shanghai SIPG earned a play-off spot in the competition, which has been expanded from 32 to 40 teams for the 2021 edition.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)