The European Championships - due to be staged at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow in April - have had the mat pulled from under them.

The European Judo Union has taken the unprecedented step of cancelling the event, just eight weeks before it was due to take place after a row over sponsorship.

The EJU say they had warned British Judo about entering into a sponsorship deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship to promote the event, claiming it did not meet their criteria.

British Judo offered to cancel the sponsorship agreement but the EJU are now looking at alternative cities. British Judo is now taking legal advice.

"The European Judo Union has come to the realisation that the British Judo Association does not fit the EJU criteria to host the EJU flagship event," said an EJU statement.

"The BJA had entered into a sponsorship agreement which did not meet the EJU values. BJA persisted in this, notwithstanding that it had been warned on a number of occasions that this arrangement was unacceptable to the EJU, which has a right under the event contract to approve or disapprove any sponsorships of EJU events.

"In their several e-mails and telephone conversations the BJA refereed to a loss of funding. In addition, the BJA missed the agreed deadline to pay the event license fee, which is also a breach of contract.

"Taking all of the above into consideration, and given the limited time to the staging of the European Championships, in order to protect the interests of the EJU national federations and European judoka, EJU Executive Committee have unanimously taken the decision to withdraw the event from Glasgow and designate as quickly as possible an alternative host who is willing and able to stage these continental judo championships."

British Judo had staged the official launch at the Emirates earlier this month, seeking to build on the success of last summer's Commonwealth Games.

The governing body is seeking to have the decision reversed but alternative cities are now being sought out.

"British Judo, working in partnership with Glasgow Life, UK Sport, Event Scotland and Judo Scotland, had successfully bid to host the championships in June 2013, but the EJU stated in communications on Friday 13th February to pull the event following the announcement of a partnership between British Judo and UFC who planned to support and help promote the Championships," British Judo said in a statement.

Chief executive Andrew Scoular added: "It is with deep regret that we have to confirm this news. We have done everything we can to make the European Judo Championships a success, working tirelessly with our partners at UK Sport, Event Scotland, Glasgow Life and the EJU since being awarded the games nearly two years ago.

"We were excited to be in the final planning stages to deliver what would have been a fantastic celebration of judo for thousands of spectators and hundreds of athletes as well as another major sporting event for the United Kingdom and the city of Glasgow.

"Following discussions with the EJU we had cancelled the agreement with UFC to ensure we could still host the Championships.

"We are extremely disappointed to have had the European Judo Championships taken away from us in this way and for this reason and so following the communication with the EJU on Friday evening we have asked to meet in the hope the decision can be reversed to allow us to still deliver the event as planned."

British Judo are in discussion with legal advisors and continue to seek direct communication with the EJU.