Fener withdraws CAS appeal
Fenerbahçe Grundig players celebrate after beating Arkas in the final match. AA photoFenerbahçe is withdrawing an appeal filed against UEFA and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), seeking compensation for being barred from the Champions League over the match-fixing scandal.
The Turkish club made the official announcement yesterday that it is “renouncing” its appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Fenerbahçe, who had initially won automatic qualification for the Champions League as the winner of the Spor Toto Super League, was demanding 45 million euros in compensation for lost prize money, match revenues and devalued stock after the team was barred from the competition due to match-fixing allegations.
Fenerbahce won last season’s Turkish league but was accused of fixing matches during its unbeaten title run. Club President Aziz Yıldırım was jailed and is a main defendant in an ongoing criminal trial.
The TFF made the announcement in August that it was excluding Fenerbahçe from the lucrative Champions League upon an incentive from the European football’s governing body, UEFA. The announcement came only 12 hours before the draws were to be made in the competition. Later that night, UEFA announced that it has included Trabzonspor, last year’s Super League runner-up, in the competition, although the Black Sea side had been knocked out of the competition’s preliminary rounds a few weeks before.
At the time, five officials from Fenerbahçe were jailed pending charges of manipulating or attempting to manipulate games.
Fenerbahçe, however, openly argued that the decision was taken by the TFF, not the UEFA, and in a wrongful way, with Trabzonspor, who also had officials listed as suspects in the match-fixing case, being cleared to play in Europe.
The club has called TFF vice chairman Lütfü Arıboğan and chief legal counselor Mehmet Helvacı to resign for misinforming UEFA inspector Pierre Cornu, who came to Istanbul a week before the definitive Champions League decision.
Fenerbahçe looked to get an upper hand in its challenge for the CAS appeal when the TFF chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar stepped down from his post in January, announcing that he was “unaware” of the details of the process.
The newly-elected TFF Chairman Yıldırım Demirören reportedly asked Fenerbahçe officials to withdraw the appeal, but Fenerbahçe’s jailed chairman Yıldırım said that the club would not back down from the case, saying that “it is a case of honor.”
Fenerbahçe’s decision came on the day when the TFF’s Ethics Committee was set to present its definitive report on the match-fixing case.
According to the Turkish media, the report, which would show the way to the TFF’s Disciplinary Committee regarding possible match-fixing bans on clubs, officials, coaches and players, ruled that there were no clear signs of manipulation.