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Fenerbahce Withdrawn from Champions League: Match Fixing Probe Costs Turkish Giants European Spot

Istanbul side lose coveted Champions League spot.

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Turkey’s Football Federation has withdrawn national champions Fenerbahce from the Champions League because of an ongoing match-fixing investigation.

On Thursday the Turkish side were due to join 32 elite European clubs in the draw for the Champions League group stage being held in Monaco at 1645 BST.

Uefa has announced league runners-up Trabzonspor will take their place.

Trabzonspor had already been eliminated from this season’s Champions League in the qualifying rounds.

The decision means that their scheduled Europa League qualifier against Athletic Bilbao on Friday has been cancelled, with the Spanish club progressing automatically.

The Fenerbahce decision was taken after the Turkish Football Federation held an extraordinary board meeting on Wednesday attended by Uefa’s legal counsel for integrity, Pierre Cornu.

SOURCE: BBC Sport

The Turkish Football Federation have taken a strong stance on this issue, especially as the case against Fenerbahce, and other clubs in the SuperLig, is ongoing. By all accounts the Istanbul based club will appeal the decision but given that the draw for the group stage happens in a matter of hours, they may not get much joy.

The Turkish match-fixing probe has rocked the country and more than 60 people have been charged with offences relating to a series of matches suspected to have been affected by the scandal. More than 19 games in the top two tiers of the footballing pyramid are being investigated.

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