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TURKEY > Fenerbahçe and Bursaspor allowed on European stage

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkish football clubs Bursaspor and Fenerbahçe were given clearance to enter European competition
this year, bringing relief to officials and supporters of both sides.

Fenerbahçe spent the season under the cloud of a match-fixing case, which listed its chairman, Aziz Yıldırım, along with four other club officials, as a top suspect.

European football’s governing body UEFA sent a letter on June 22 to Fenerbahçe to inform the club about its acceptance to the Champions League, ending months-long speculation.

Fenerbahçe, which had been embroiled in a match-fixing scandal, was barred from playing in the Champions League last season following a Turkish Football Federation (TFF) decision upon an incentive by UEFA.

In a letter sent to the club and the TFF on June 22, UEFA said Fenerbahçe would be accepted to the Champions League next season, noting that the final decision belongs to the UEFA Disciplinary Committee.

Fenerbahçe spent the season under the cloud of a match-fixing case, which listed its chairman, Aziz Yıldırım, along with four other club officials, as a top suspect.

A total of 93 football club officials, players and coaches from around a dozen Turkish clubs were listed as suspects in the case, which started after the Istanbul police’s allegations that several games were manipulated in last season’s competition, when Fenerbahçe won the title.

Last month, the TFF cleared 14 clubs, including Fenerbahçe, of match-fixing charges, but punished two officials from the club for attempting match fixing. Yıldırım was also cleared, but he is still jailed pending charges in the criminal case.

UEFA has announced it is up to the Turkish Federation to impose sanctions on teams embroiled in the scandal, but has said it could intervene if needed.

A top sports court has cleared the way for Bursaspor to compete in the European competition next season, lifting an earlier ban by the European football’s governing body UEFA. (For the full report: Bursaspor’s way to Europe cleared)

June/23/2012

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