Soccer-CAS dismisses Fenerbahce's Champions League appeal

ISTANBUL, Sept 9 Fri Sep 9, 2011 12:05pm EDT

ISTANBUL, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed Turkish champions Fenerbahce's appeal against their exclusion from the Champions League in connection with a match-fixing investigation, CAS said on Friday.

The ruling means that last season's Turkish League runners-up Trabzonspor, who were re-instated as Fenerbahace's replacements after earlier losing in the third qualifying round to Benfica, will remain in the competition. Their first match is against 2010 European champions Inter Milan on Wednesday.

More than 30 players and officials have been jailed pending trial, including Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim, over alleged manipulation in 19 matches.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed an urgent request for provisional measures filed by Fenerbahce SK following a decision of the Turkish Football Federation to withdraw the club from the UEFA Champions League," CAS said.

The statement on its website said Fenerbahce had requested to be allowed to participate in the Champions League group stage which starts next week.

The Turkish football federation (TFF) has said it would not take any decisions regarding individuals or clubs involved in alleged match-fixing until a Turkish court accepts the indictment and ends a ban on the disclosure of evidence. That could take several months.

However under pressure from UEFA, the TFF then excluded Fenerbahce from the Champions League, allowing Trabzonspor to take their place.

The TFF has postponed the start of the season by a month until this weekend. (Writing by Daren Butler, editing by Justin Palmer)

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