Fenerbahce in Champions League draw despite ban

18 July 2013 03:34

Turkish club Fenerbahce will go into the hat for Friday's Champions League draw, despite being banned for their role in a massive domestic match fixing scandal, the club announced on Thursday.

Fenerbahce appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which has provisionally overturned the UEFA ban, allowing the club to be included in the draw.

UEFA's disciplinary commission ruled last month that Fenerbahce, Europa League semi-finalists last season, would be barred from the Champions League, while rivals Besiktas would not be allowed to compete in the Europa League.

But Fenerbahce took the case to the international sporting body and were able to announce on their website that the ban had been suspended, pending a full hearing.

"To all Fenerbahce supporters, the football club will continue on the road to this year's Champions League, with the draw taking place tomorrow," the Istanbul club's president Aziz Yildirim told the website.

"After the CAS's suspension of UEFA's ruling, we will take part in the draw in Nyon, Switzerland, as one of the seeded clubs."

Friday's draw is for the third qualifying round but if the full CAS hearing in early August decides to uphold the ban, Fenerbahce's place will be taken by Bursaspor, who finished fourth in the league last season.

At the end of June, UEFA declared: "Fenerbahce will not have the right to compete in the next three European competitions they qualify for, which includes the 2013/14 Champions League," said UEFA in a statement.

"They will be on probation for five years regarding the third year of the ban."

Turkish football was rocked by a huge corruption scandal in 2011 which resulted in Fenerbahce president Yildirim being sentenced to six years and three months in prison last July, but he was released after having been detained for a year when he appealed the conviction.

He was just one of over 90 executives, officials and players convicted over the scandal which involved several matches in the 2010/11 league season and includes the game which saw Fenerbahce clinch the title - a 4-3 win over Sivasspor on the last day of the campaign.

The two clubs had already been punished by the Turkish Football Federation with Fenerbahce being prevented from competing in the 2011/12 Champions League and Besiktas were stripped of their 2011 Turkish Cup victory.

Source: AFP