Turkish giant Fenerbahce and Ukrainian Premier League outfit Metalist Kharkiv on Wednesday failed in their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against European bans handed out by UEFA for match-fixing offences and are now considering whether to take their cases to Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court.
Fenerbahce and city rival Besiktas, whose own CAS appeal is expected to be announced on Friday, were connected with match-fixing scandals in domestic tournaments in 2011, and Fenerbahce was excluded by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) from participating in the Champions League in the 2011-12 season. In June, Fenerbahce was banned from European competitions by UEFA for two seasons, from 2013-14 to 2014-15. The UEFA control and disciplinary body confirmed Fenerbahce’s ban would actually run for three seasons in total, with the third deferred for a probationary period of five years. Besiktas was banned from European competition for the coming season. The two clubs appealed the decision, but UEFA confirmed that Fenerbahçe would be excluded from participating in the next two competitions for which they would qualify, including the 2013-14 Champions League. Fenerbahce was partially successful in its appeal with UEFA removing the deferred third-year ban, but took its case to CAS, protesting at what is now its second Champions League ban within three seasons.
CAS on Wednesday confirmed that Fenerbahce’s two-year UEFA ban has been upheld meaning that the club will now be barred from this season’s Europa League. Fenerbahce exited the Champions League on Tuesday as Arsenal completed a 5-0 aggregate victory in a play-off tie. UEFA’s Emergency Panel will meet today to decide on the consequences the confirmed exclusion of Fenerbahçe SK from the 2013-14 club competitions will have on the Europa League. The Hurriyet Daily News website said that Fenerbahce would apply to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland against the CAS ruling, with the club adding in a statement that it will decide on its next course of action at a meeting today.
Earlier this month, UEFA ejected Metalist from this season’s Champions League following a domestic match-fixing case dating back to 2008. Metalist finished as runner-up in the Ukrainian Premier League last season and was due to face German Bundesliga club Schalke 04 in the play-off round of the 2013-14 Champions League. UEFA’s Appeals Body decided to disqualify Metalist from 2013-14 UEFA club competition after the club lost a CAS appeal against the match-fixing case earlier this month. On August 2, a CAS panel determined that Metalist as well as some officials of the club were guilty of match-fixing in relation to a match against Karpaty Lviv played on April 19, 2008. Metalist officials believe the club should not be made to suffer for mistakes made by its former owners and has also been challenging its removal from European competition before the Swiss Supreme Court. Following Wednesday’s CAS ruling, Metalist first vice-president Kostyantyn Pyvovarov told the club’s website: “Of course, we are disappointed, because until recently we believed that UEFA and the CAS will approach the situation with balance. We will continue to defend our position in the legal field. We do not understand why the decision of the Supreme Court of Switzerland was ignored, which has put a big question over the original decision of the CAS. We are waiting for the consideration of the case in essence, and, quite possibly, we will appeal to the Supreme Court of Switzerland on today’s decision of CAS.”