Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş set to appeal against UEFA ban
ISTANBULTurkish football clubs Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş are to appeal against a UEFA decision to bar the two clubs from European competitions on match-fixing accusations.
UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Committee announced its decision yesterday following last week’s hearings. Beşiktaş was banned from next year’s Europa League, while Fenerbahçe received a two-year ban, with an additional one year possible if a similar infraction is committed within a probationary period of five years.
“It is a surprising decision and I have a hard time understanding it,” Beşiktaş chairman Fikret Orman told NTV Spor yesterday. “We will definitely appeal against the decision, because Beşiktaş, with its fame and glory, is the most well-established club of Turkey.”
The UEFA also said in its decision that “certain additional information will be collected in order to consider in further detail the different position of each of the individuals concerned.”
The board is expected to decide soon on the fate of Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım, board member Şekip Mosturoğlu, former Beşiktaş executive Serdal Adalı and former club coach Tayfur Havutçu, who have all been sentenced in the local match-fixing trial pending appeal.
“We could not understand why the UEFA demanded extra information on Tayfur Havutçu and Serdal Adalı,” said Orman. “We are hopeful about the appeal process, we will pursue our rights until the very end.”
Yasemin Merçil, Fenerbahçe board member and a lawyer, said the clubs were punished due to the actions of the individuals concerned, so the clubs’ punishment should not have been decided when the board could not decide on the people involved.
“There is a 13-page detailed ruling and we are working on it,” Merçil told Fenerbahçe TV. “We have three days to appeal, and we will appeal.”
Both Turkish clubs and their executives are involved in a match-fixing probe that started on July 3, 2011, regarding a number of games in the 2010-2011 season, when Fenerbahçe won the league.
Several Fenerbahçe officials, including chairman Yıldırım and vice-chairman Mosturoğlu, were found guilty of rigging when the judge gave his verdict last July. The Fenerbahçe chairman was sentenced to six years and three months in prison, pending appeal.
However, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) decided that even though there were attempts to manipulate games, those efforts were “not reflected on the pitch,” and refused to punish any of the teams whose officials were charged with match-fixing. UEFA, however, refused to allow Fenerbahçe to participate in the subsequent season’s Champions League competition, inviting Trabzonspor to compete in its place.
If the appeals of both clubs are rejected, Bursaspor, who came fourth in the table, will take Fenerbahçe’s spot in the Champions League, while Kayserispor, who came fifth, will participate in the Europa League instead of Beşiktaş. Istanbul minnows Kasımpaşa will take the Europa League seat vacated by Bursaspor to participate in the first European competition in the team’s history.