(WFI) UEFA has rejected appeals by Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Besiktas to overturn bans from European competition.
The 2011 match-fixing scandal involving the clubs led to a two-year ban from European competition for Fenerbahce, ruling them out of the coming Champions League tournament, and a one-year ban from the Europa League for Besiktas.
European football’s governing body upheld the bans after reviewing the sanctions at the request of the two clubs.
UEFA said its appeals body had “carefully analysed the statements and documents submitted by Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe related to their specific cases, as well as the statements and documents submitted by the UEFA Disciplinary Inspectors appointed to each case” and reached the following decisions.
“Beşiktaş have had their appeal rejected. Consequently, Beşiktaş are not eligible to participate in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League,” UEFA said.
“Fenerbahçe have had their appeal partially admitted. Consequently, Fenerbahçe are excluded from participating in the next two UEFA club competitions they qualify for, including the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League.”
Both clubs can appeal the decisions of the UEFA Appeals Body to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Match-fixing Ref Testifies Against Singaporean
A Lebanese football referee jailed for his involvement in a match-fixing sex scandal says he was shown how to fix a game on YouTube.
Ali Sabbagh told a court today that Singaporean businessman Eric Ding Si Yang sent him around 30 YouTube links to “teach me how to make wrong decisions”. His comments came on the first day of Ding’s trial.
“The videos had too many decisions where the decision made by the referee is not the right decision,” Sabbagh was quoted by AFP.
Ding is charged with offering women to provide free sexual services to Sabbagh and two other Lebanese officials to rig the AFC Cup tie between Singapore’s Tampines Rovers and East Bengal in April. But they were dropped from the game when the match-fixing plan came to light.
Following an investigation, Sabbagh was found guilty of trying to rig the game and jailed for six months. The two assistant referees were also convicted and were later released and deported.
Sabbagh said at the trial that Ding told him in a series of emails late in 2012 that the best way to fix a match was to award penalties. “Nobody will stop you, nobody will do anything… When the corner comes, just blow and say pushing and pulling… If there is anything in the penalty area, you can blow your whistle,” Sabbagh reportedly quoted Ding as saying.
Sabbagh proposed that Ding “arrange” for Asian girls when the Asian Football Confederation officials were in Singapore for the match, with the expectation that Ding would ask them to manipulate the results of unspecified AFC Champions League matches soon after the Singapore fixture.
Ding faces a five-year jail term if found guilty of the corruption charges, which he denies.
By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson
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