Turkish clubs banned from Europe

    Besiktas reached trhe last 16 of the 2011-12 Europa League, losing to eventual champions Atletico Madrid.

    Story highlights

    • Three Turkish clubs banned from European competition by UEFA
    • Fourth-placed Besiktas thrown out of 2012-13 Europa League due to debts
    • Bursaspor will also miss out next season following UEFA appeals hearing
    • Turkish reports say Gaziantepspor will be banned from one future qualification
    One of Turkey's biggest clubs will not play European football next season after being found guilty of breaching UEFA's financial fair play rules.
    Besiktas, 13-time national champions, will miss out on continental competition for two of the next five seasons -- though the second qualification ban is suspended for a probationary period.
    UEFA said Bursaspor, another former Turkish titleholder, had also been barred from Europe next season while Turkish reports said Gaziantepspor will miss out the next time it qualifies due to a similar rules breach.
    Istanbul-based Besiktas had qualified for the second-tier Europa League after finishing fourth in the domestic table, but its place has now been provisionally given to Eskisehirspor.
    Eskisehirspor failed to earn a European place in the end of season playoffs, finishing behind Bursaspor -- whose Europa League place may now instead go to Istanbul B.B. The Turkish Federation had to submit its candidates for European competition on Thursday, but UEFA does not have to accept them.
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    Bursaspor, which won the Turkish title for the first time in 2010 and competed in the European Champions League the following season, said it will appeal UEFA's ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
    Its initial fine of €200,000 ($247,000) was cut to €50,000 ($61,000) by UEFA's appeals body, and suspended for a period of four years.
    "We were not supposed to face a ban. This is a murder of law," Bursaspor chairman Ibrahim Yazıic told the Anatolia news agency. "I cannot understand how a club without debt like Bursaspor can be hit with a ban. We believe that UEFA will return from its mistake."
    Besiktas had been fined €500,000 ($618,000) but this was reduced to €200,000 -- with half of that on probation for five years. It will also appeal.
    "The biggest reason for the ban was stated as the delays in payments to players," lawyer Emin Ozkurt told CNN Turk.
    The Hurriyet Daily News said UEFA had earlier warned Besiktas about its levels of debt after looking at the club's accounts for the second and third quarters of 2011. Besiktas reached the last 16 of the 2011-12 Europa League, losing to eventual champion Atletico Madrid.
    The financial fair play rules have been introduced in order to stop clubs spending more than they earn and getting into difficulties. The regulations also seek to counter scenarios where wealthy benefactors bankroll excessive spending to the disadvantage of smaller rival clubs, and distort transfer market values.