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Fenerbahce gets date at UEFA to appeal Champions League ban

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The Canadian Press
7/5/2013 11:09:24 AM
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NYON, Switzerland - Fenerbahce will appeal at UEFA next week to regain its Champions League place after being expelled for links to match-fixing.

UEFA said on Friday the hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, and its appeal panel is expected to give a verdict within days.

Fenerbahce was banned last month, for the second time in three seasons, after a lengthy UEFA investigation of allegations that club officials helped fix matches to win the Turkish league in 2011.

As runner-up last season, Fenerbahce would have entered the Champions League third qualifying round draw scheduled on July 19. First-leg matches are played on July 30 or 31.

If the Istanbul club's appeal is dismissed, it can challenge UEFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and request an urgent ruling.

Fenerbahce officials, including president Aziz Yildirim, deny wrongdoing and are appealing their criminal convictions in Turkish courts.

UEFA's disciplinary sanctions against Fenerbahce include an additional one-year ban from the next season of European competition for which the club qualifies, plus a third suspension deferred for a five-year probationary period.

Fenerbahce's legal troubles should have allowed third-placed Besiktas to enter Europe's signature competition, joining champion Galatasaray which has direct entry into the lucrative 32-team group stage.

However, UEFA also banned Besiktas from its competitions in 2013-14 for allegedly fixing the 2011 Turkish Cup final, which it won on penalties over city rival Istanbul BB.

UEFA said on Friday the Besiktas appeal will be heard at its headquarters next Thursday.

Fourth-placed Bursaspor is in line to enter the Champions League third qualifying round if both rival clubs fail to overturn UEFA's verdicts.

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