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Sochaux demands to replace Lens in Ligue 1 after club again falls foul of financial matters

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MONTBELIARD, France - Relegated Sochaux demanded on Wednesday to be allowed back into Ligue 1 in place of Lens after its northern rival again failed to meet financial requirements.

Lens won promotion by finishing second in Ligue 2 but was initially banned from joining the top flight on financial grounds. It won an appeal but was barred from signing new players and its main shareholder, Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov, was ordered to transfer four million euros ($5.3 million) to the club.

With that sum still missing Tuesday and the new Ligue 1 season starting this weekend, Sochaux says "the fundamental principle of equality has not been respected." Sochaux wants France's football federation and the league's governing body to re-examine the case, adding "in consequence, we demand that Sochaux be reinstated to Ligue 1."

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