May 6, 2020 / 4:36 PM / 24 days ago

Soccer-Fellaini, Witsel’s cash helps to save Standard Liege’s status

BRUSSELS, May 6 (Reuters) - Money from former players Marouane Fellaini and Axel Witsel has helped save Standard Liege from expulsion from Belgium’s top flight after they successfully appealed the withdrawal of their professional licence.

Former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Fellaini, now playing in China, has loaned the club 3-million euros ($3.24 million) while Borussia Dortmund’s Witsel has invested in a company that has bought the club’s stadium and will rent it back to them, Belgian media reported.

The Belgian football association last month withdrew Standard’s license amid mounting debts, effectively relegating the club to the fourth tier of Belgian football.

However, an appeal to the country’s sports arbitration court proved successful, club spokesman Olivier Smeets told reporters on Wednesday.

Standard, who finished third behind Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt in their Europa League group this season, were in fifth place in the Belgian league when it was suspended in March. ($1 = 0.9251 euros) (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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