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Turkish clubs appeal to Court of Arbitration

Fenerbahce players contest UEFA ruling which bans two Turkish clubs from European competition for match-fixing.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 2013 16:07
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Fenerbahce's Dirk Kuyt (L) is not happy with the ruling that sees club banned from Europe once more [AP]

Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Besiktas have asked sport's highest court to overturn European competition expulsions imposed by UEFA for match-fixing.

Fenerbahce wants their Champions League ban frozen until their appeal is completed, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Wednesday.

Fenerbahce was scheduled to enter the third qualifying round draw on Friday, and play a first-leg match on July 30 or 31.

Bursaspor are set to enter instead.

This is not even proven that we are guilty. The next year we are allowed to play football in Europe. But after that UEFA comes back again with a higher punishment

Dirk Kuyt, Fenerbahce striker

CAS has not set dates for hearings.

Both clubs deny wrongdoing and are challenging UEFA appeal panel rulings announced on Monday to uphold their expulsions.

UEFA judged that Fenerbahce officials fixed matches to win the 2011 Turkish league, and Besiktas fixed their 2011 Turkish Cup victory.

Fenerbahce have sent UEFA a letter on behalf of their players, protesting what is now their second Champions League ban within three seasons. 

Forward Dirk Kuyt wrote that players had 'a lot of questions' for UEFA, according to a statement published by the Istanbul club. 

"It's very hard to understand after a one-year ban from European competitions in the season 2011-2012,'' said Kuyt, a Netherlands international, who helped Fenerbahce reach the Europa League semifinals last season.

"This is not even proven that we are guilty. The next year we are allowed to play football in Europe. But after that UEFA comes back again with a higher punishment,'' Kuyt said.

UEFA rules bar clubs from their competitions for one season if they are connected to fixing matches played since April 2007.

UEFA's latest ruling also barred Fenerbahce for an additional season of European competition when they next qualify.

Besiktas qualified for the Europa League by finishing third in the Turkish league, but could enter the Champions League in place of runner-up Fenerbahce.

Galatasaray, the historical rival of Fenerbahce, won the Turkish league and will play in the elite Champions League group stage, which starts in September.

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AP
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