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RB Leipzig relaxed over possible European ban due to ownership issue

RB Leipzig's CEO has said "there is no nervousness" about the prospect of a ban from European competition for having the same owner as Austrian side RB Salzburg.

A report in Salzburger Nachrichten on Wednesday suggested that UEFA has indicated that only one Red Bull club will be able to play in Europe if both sides were to qualify.

RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg are both owned by Austrian energy drink company Red Bull, which also owns New York Red Bulls as well as two Formula One teams.

UEFA rules state that "no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition," and that if two or more clubs fail to meet the criteria "only one of them may be admitted to a UEFA club competition."

Oliver Mintzlaff, the head of global soccer at Red Bull and CEO at Leipzig, said he is relaxed about the situation.

Currently, RB Salzburg are on course to win the Austrian Bundesliga while RB Leizpig are second in the German Bundesliga, eight points clear of third place. UEFA rules say "the club which was best-ranked in the domestic championship" would be allowed access to the relevant competition.

Addressing the report in Salzburger Nachrichten, Oliver Mintzlaff, the head of global soccer at Red Bull and CEO at Leipzig, told SID: "At RB Leipzig, there is no nervousness and there are no alleged 'signals' from UEFA.

"Should we qualify for a European competition, there'd be no reason to doubt that we'd play internationally next term."

A UEFA spokesperson called the report "speculation" on Wednesday, adding that a decision will only be made after the season when the association has received the competition entry forms from the national football associations.

Last summer, Jochen Sauer, who was RB Salzburg executive at the time, said that the Austrians have positioned themselves as "an independent club" by cutting special rights for Red Bull.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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