UEFA has banned Turkey's
Besiktas, Bursaspor and Gaziantepspor from European competitions
for one year due to financial problems, club officials said on
UEFA's decisions, with the punishments for the first two
confirmed by European football's ruling body, came as a fresh
blow to the beleaguered Turkish league amid a court
investigation into match-fixing allegations which overshadowed
the whole of last season.
Besiktas were fined 200,000 euros due to delays
in payments to players and staff, they said in a statement to
the Istanbul Stock Exchange where shares in the club are traded.
UEFA scrutinised Besiktas' accounts in the second and third
quarters of 2011 and ruled that they breached articles of the
ruling body's financial fair play regulations.
Besiktas had qualified for the second qualifying round of
the Europa League and Bursaspor for the pre-qualifying rounds.
Shares in Besiktas tumbled more than 9 percent on the news to
UEFA said in a statement that its appeals body had decided
to exclude Besiktas from the next two UEFA club competitions for
which it qualifies in the next five seasons.
The exclusion for the second competition is suspended for a
probationary period of five years.
Besiktas Chairman Fikret Orman and the club's lawyers
attended a meeting with UEFA's disciplinary committee for a
second time on Wednesday after the club was earlier warned about
its financial status and high debt.
Orman said Besiktas would appeal to the Court of Arbitration
for Sport (CAS) regarding the ban, but added he was not very
optimistic about a ruling in favour of the 13-times Turkish
"We will defend the club's rights until the end, and will
appeal to CAS as the first step," Levent Erdogan, a lawyer and
club board member told Turkey's Dogan news agency.
"I think it's a dramatic decision, and it will hit us pretty
badly, but there's nothing we can do," he added.
Bursaspor are excluded from one UEFA club competition for
which it qualifies in the next four seasons, UEFA said.
"It's impossible for us to receive such a suspension, it
would be a murder of justice," Bursaspor club chairman Ibrahim
Yazici told the state-run Anatolia news agency and added they
would definitely appeal the ruling.
The other major Istanbul clubs Galatasaray and Fenerbahce,
Besiktas's arch-rivals, will compete in the Champions League
after taking the top two places in the domestic league.
UEFA's statement did not mention a punishment for
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