Soccer-Fenerbahce say to compete in Champions League

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ISTANBUL, July 18 (Reuters) – Turkey’s Fenerbahce said on Thursday the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had suspended the execution of UEFA’s decision banning the club from European competition for two years over their involvement in a domestic match-fixing scandal.

“Fenerbahce soccer team will attend the Champions League draws on Friday and continue on its path,” Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim told the club’s official television channel.

Turkish media carried a document sent by UEFA to CAS on Thursday asking the court to make a final decision by Aug. 25 on the cases of Fenerbahce and Istanbul rivals Besiktas, who qualified for the Europa League and had received a one-year ban from UEFA for alleged match-fixing.

The two clubs asked UEFA in June to re-examine their punishments and in both cases European soccer’s governing body decided to uphold the sanctions.

The match-fixing scandal rocked Turkish football in 2011 and resulted in sentences being handed down to club officials and players, including Yildirim who received a six-year jail sentence but was released pending an appeals court ruling.

Shares in Fenerbahce traded 10.55 percent higher at 30.40 lira by 1200 GMT, while Besiktas shares were 7.48 percent higher at 1.58 lira. (Writing by Ece Toksabay, editing by Justin Palmer)

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