Fenerbahçe’s appeal against two-year ban dismissed
Fenerbahçe, along with Istanbul rival Beşiktaş, was handed a suspension from European competitions by UEFA for its involvement in the manipulation of Turkish football matches in the 2010-11 season. DHA photoThe Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today rejected an appeal by Fenerbahçe to overturn its match-fixing ban from European competition, approving a two-year suspension against the Yellow Canaries.
“Pursuant to the UEFA decision, which is now confirmed by the CAS, Fenerbahçe is excluded from two editions of UEFA club competitions,” the top sports court said in a written statement.
Fenerbahçe has announced that it will apply to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland against the CAS ruling.
The European football’s governing body welcomed the CAS decision on Fenerbahçe, which was to play in the Europa League after losing on aggregate on Aug. 27 to Arsenal in the playoff round.
“UEFA welcomes today’s decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejecting the appeals made by Fenerbahçe SK and FC Metalist Kharkiv against the UEFA Appeals Body decisions of 15 July 2013 and 14 August 2013 respectively,” UEFA said in a written statement posted on its website. “The UEFA Emergency Panel will meet on Thursday afternoon to decide on the consequences the confirmed exclusion of Fenerbahçe SK from the 2013/14 UEFA club competitions will have on the UEFA Europa League,” the statement added.
The decision was also welcomed by Trabzonspor, the runner-up in the troubled 2010-11 season.
“Those who put their own club into chaos could do a service to Turkish football by returning the 2010-2011 season league trophy to the Turkish Football Federation [TFF],” the Black Sea club’s chairman said in a written statement.
The ruling also increased pressure on Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım, whose appeal against a six-year, three-month jail sentence on match-fixing charges is still pending.
“The club should convene an emergency congress as soon as possible and make the necessary changes,” prominent pundit Gürcan Bilgiç told daily Hürriyet, while calling for Yıldırım’s resignation.
In June, Fenerbahçe, along with Istanbul rival Beşiktaş, was handed a suspension from European competitions by UEFA for its involvement in the manipulation of Turkish football matches in the 2010-11 season.
But CAS issued a stay of execution on the punishment pending the final ruling, making it possible for Fenerbahçe to play in the Champions League qualification round. It saw off Red Bull Salzburg in the third qualifying round before losing to Arsenal 5-0 on aggregate.
Fenerbahçe was charged after some of its board members attempted to manipulate some games from the 2010-2011 Super League, while Beşiktaş was charged with its officials’ attempting to fix that season’s Turkish Cup final.
Two of the clubs’ officials were handed prison sentences by an Istanbul court in the Turkish judicial process, but the federation decided not to punish the teams, saying that even though there were efforts to manipulate some games, they had not been reflected on the pitch. UEFA then opened its own investigation.
Beşiktaş, which is playing against Norway’s Tromso in the playoff round for the Europa League, will also face a final CAS decision, likely tomorrow.