Fener back on European stage after one year ban
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe has made some important additions to its squad, including Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt (2R), who spent six years with Premier League club Liverpool. AFP photo
Fenerbahçe will make its return to European football when it takes on Romania’s Vaslui in the third qualifying round of the Champions League tonight. The Spor Toto Super League runner-up hosts Vaslui in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the top-level European competition in club football.
If it manages to knock Vaslui out, Fenerbahçe will advance to the playoff stage to enter the Champions League. Fenerbahçe hopes to return to the Champions League after a three year absence.
The Yellow Canaries were beaten by Switzerland’s Young Boys in 2010, and were barred from the competition last year by the Turkish Football Federation after their chairman Aziz Yıldırım and several board members were embroiled in a match-fixing scandal. Fenerbahçe boosted its squad with several high-profile signings over the summer.
The Istanbul team signed Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt from Fenerbahçe, while Turkish international midfielder Mehmet Topal was signed from Valencia. Left back Hasan Ali Kaldırım from Kayserispor and defender Egemen Korkmaz from Beşiktaş have also been added to the roster.
This is Vaslui’s second appearance in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
Last year, the Romanian team lost to the Netherlands’ Twente 2-0 on aggregate and were knocked out. The team then went on to take part in the Europa League, the second-tier continental club competition. Tonight’s game at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium starts at 9:45 p.m.