Former boss ‘unaware’ of CL exclusion procedure

Former boss ‘unaware’ of CL exclusion procedure

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Former boss ‘unaware’ of CL exclusion procedure

CAS Judge Kısmet Erkiner’s statements played a role in Aydınlar’s resignation. Hürriyet photo

Mehmet Ali Aydınlar has cited the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) Judge Kısmet Erkiner’s statements as the main reason why he stepped down as Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chairman, adding to the ongoing war between Fenerbahçe, the TFF and the UEFA.

In a statement made after announcing his resignation Jan. 31, the former TFF chairman said “he was in shock watching Erkiner’s [televised] comments.” 

According to Erkiner, it was the TFF who had the final say in the exclusion of Fenerbahçe from the Champions League, in contradiction of the initial statements. The TFF, especially Vice Chairman Lutfi Arıboğan, has always said the national football’s governing body was put under pressure by the UEFA to take a quick decision and prevent Fenerbahçe from playing in the top-level competition in European club football. 

In August, the TFF barred the Turkish champion from playing in the Champions League and Trabzonspor was included in the competition. Aydınlar then said the UEFA “forced the TFF” to make the decision and “threatened to impose an eight-year ban on Turkish teams” if it did not act immediately. 
Fenerbahçe took the case to CAS, seeking compensation worth 40 million euros due to UEFA’s and TFF’s alleged violation of the presumption of innocence principle. 

“The TFF could not call UEFA’s bluff,” and there were two letters from the UEFA stating the “request did not constitute a compelling injunction to withdraw the club,” Erkiner said. Aydınlar, in his statement, said he was “unaware” of the UEFA’s letters and cited the lack of trust between the UEFA and TFF as a main reason of his resignation. 

Meanwhile, Arıboğan said he would soon clarify the situation “with documents.”