Fallout from Turkish match-fixing probe hits Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce will sit out the coming Champions League season due to ongoing match-fixing allegations that have thrown Turkey’s football federation into chaos. According to a statement posted to the TFF’s website, the UEFA demanded the Super Lig champs withdraw from competition on Tuesday and threatened disciplinary action against the TFF should the club refuse. Once forwarded the letter, Fenerbahce evidently did exactly that, prompting federation officials to simply bar their participation ahead of Thursday’s group stage draw. “In the face of this development, on 24 August an extraordinary meeting of the board of directors was held to discuss the threat of the Turkish Football Federation being exposed to severe disciplinary sanctions if Fenerbahce took part in the UEFA Champions League this season, and it was decided to bar them from participating,” reads the statement. The ongoing match-fixing probe has already forced the postponement of Turkey’s own season and netted more than 80 footballers and club officials in the past two months, including Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim.
FOX Sports will replace DirecTV as the U.S. broadcaster of Europa League action. UEFA announced Wednesday the three-year deal that will see FOX Soccer Channel air at least two live matches a week as well as one highlights program and one delayed game. FOX Soccer Plus will also show one live match for each kick-off slot up to the quarterfinals. “FOX Sports’ strong coverage commitment to the UEFA Europa League will help to further grow the profile and recognition of the competition in the territory,” UEFA said in a statement. The purchase of the Europe League package comes on the heels of FOX’s recent acquisition of Champions League rights through 2015 as well. Wednesday’s deal also includes non-exclusive rights in the Caribbean.
Egypt tapped to host African qualifying tournament for 2012 Olympics
Egypt will stage the Confederation
of African Football’s first-ever U-23 Championship, FIFA announced Tuesday. The inaugural tournament will also serve as a continental qualifier for the 2012 London Olympic football competition. Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and the hosts will square off between Nov. 26 and Dec. 10 with spots at next year’s Games up for grabs. The top three finishers will automatically qualify while the fourth-placed team must face its Asian counterpart for a ticket to London.
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