The reputation of Belgian football has blossomed in recent years, with the national team considered dark horses for victory at next summer’s FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. It is an indication of the progress made by Eupen’s Aspire graduates that they are able to flourish in such an environment. And, if this progress can be sustained, the team will be favorites to gain automatic promotion to the First Division.
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However, Bruxelles hope to present an appeal in the next few days which means for the time being, Eupen's promotion is technically provisional.
In a closely contested game, Eupen withstood sustained pressure after taking a 13th minute lead through French striker Florian Taulemesse, holding on to their slender advantage to prompt jubilant scenes in the Kehrweg stadium at the final whistle.
Eupen, which is owned by Qatar's Aspire Academy which also controls Spanisg Second Division outfit, Cultural Leonesa ended the campaign as runners-up, just one point behind RWS Bruxelles, who finished in the only qualifying place for the Jupiler Pro League.
Despite ending third in Belgium's second tier Proximus League, Eupen have been promoted to the country's top division - the Jupiler Pro League after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (BAS) decided that RWS Bruxelles, who were supposed to make the ascent, do not have the necessary economic conditions to do so.
Since June 2012, the club is owned by Qatar and its Aspire Zone Foundation, who also owns Paris Saint-Germain. Aspire Academy announced their intent use the club as a launching pad into European football for its academy graduates from Africa, South America and Asia.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: KAS Eupen, owned by Aspire Zone Foundation, returned to the summit of the Belgian second division on Friday night after a hard fought victory over promotion rivals Westerlo. With the season now halfway through, the Black and Whites are ‘winter champions’, having displaced their opponents from the top spot by virtue of a narrow 1-0 win.
Eupen features an array of talented youngsters who are clearly reveling in the competitive atmosphere of the Belgian league. The latest victory saw another mature performance from a team featuring no fewer than seven AspireAcademy graduates on the night, all of whom are just 19 years of age.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
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As of 3 July 2016. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
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Königliche Allgemeine Sportvereinigung Eupen (often simply known as Eupen) is a Belgian association football club based in the city of Eupen in the German-speaking Community of Belgium, in the province of Liège. They first reached the Belgian Pro League in the 2010–11 season and gained another promotion to the first division in the 2016–17 season. Eupen was founded in 1945. They play their home matches at the Kehrwegstadion.
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But the tribunal in charge of evaluating the economic situations of all of the clubs in the second division decided on Friday to revoke RWS Bruxelles' license. The motives given were that the club does not have its own stadium, that it has also built up six-figure debts and are currently paying their playing through state subsidies which theoretically should be destined to the club's youth team programme.