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Russian Cup winner Rostov denied Europa League place, Spartak takes spot

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MOSCOW - Russian Cup winner FC Rostov has been excluded from next season's Europa League for financial problems and Spartak Moscow will take its place, the Russian Football Union says.

Rostov qualified for Europe for the first time since 2000 with a surprise cup triumph. The football union blocked the club from taking its European place because it said it had breached domestic licensing rules.

Nine-time Russian champion Spartak avoids missing out on European action for what would have been only the fourth time in the last 20 years.

The football union said Rostov had already appealed the verdict and lost. The breach reportedly relates to unpaid wages from last year, since resolved.

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