Fenerbahce loses Champs League spot in UEFA appeal

Fenerbahce has lost its appeal to UEFA against expulsion from

this season’s Champions League for match-fixing, and the Turkish

club can now ask sports’ highest court for an emergency ruling.

Announcing verdicts Monday, UEFA said its appeals panel upheld

an earlier disciplinary verdict that club officials helped fix

matches in its 2010-11 league title run.

Fenerbahce finished runner-up in the Turkish Super Lig last

season and would have entered the Champions League third qualifying

round, needing to beat two opponents to advance to the lucrative

group stage.

The draw is scheduled for Friday and Bursaspor should now take

the second Turkish entry. Champion Galatasaray goes directly into

the 32-team group stage being drawn next month.

Fenerbahce, which was also expelled from the Champions League

two years ago, can challenge UEFA’s verdict at the Court of

Arbitration for Sport.

Club officials, including president Aziz Yildirim, deny

wrongdoing and are appealing their criminal convictions in Turkish

courts.

With Fenerbahce banned, third-placd Beziktas could have taken

its Istanbul rival’s vacant Champions League place. However, UEFA

has also dismissed Beziktas’s appeal against suspension for fixing

the 2011 Turkish Cup final, leaving the entry clear for

fourth-place Bursaspor. Besiktas could also appeal to CAS.

Fenerbahce also remains banned for an additional year of UEFA’s

club competitions when it next qualifies.

UEFA said Fenerbahce’s appeal was partially admitted because a

deferred suspension for a third season was annulled following the

hearing held last Wednesday. UEFA took several days to confirm the

judgments.