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APOEL benefit from Fenerbahce's expulsion

APOEL Nicosia fans will be watching Europa League football at the club's GSP Stadium.

Story highlights

  • APOEL Nicosia and Tromso given places in the Europa League
  • APOEL replace Fenerbahce in the group stages as a "lucky loser"
  • Tromso replace Besiktas after losing to the Turkish team on Thursday
  • Fenerbahce and Besiktas are both banned from competing due to match-fixing

Two of Europe's smaller clubs got lucky on Friday following match-fixing sanctions imposed on Turkish teams.

APOEL Nicosia and Tromso were the beneficiaries of match-fixing bans handed out to Fenerbahce and Besiktas relating to games in Turkish football.

Fenerbahce had an appeal against a two-year ban from European competition rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday.

Cypriot champions APOEL were beaten in this week's Europa League playoff matches by Belgium's Zulte Waregem, but emerged as the "lucky loser" plucked from a draw conducted by UEFA in Monaco on Friday..

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It means APOEL will compete in the group stages of Europe's second-tier club competition against France's Bordeaux, Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany and Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group F.

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    APOEL are best known for a run to the Champions League quarterfinals in 2012, where they were beaten over two legs by Real Madrid.

    Besiktas, another Turkish club banned from European competition for match-fixing, also saw their appeal over a one-year sanction rejected by the CAS on Friday.

    The Istanbul team beat Tromso in the Europa League playoffs, but the Norwegian club will now take Besiktas' place in the group stages.

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    Tromso were drawn in Group K alongside English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur, Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala and Sherrif Tiraspol of Moldova.

    Elsewhere, Valencia, Champions League finalists in 2000 and 2001 and winners of this competition in 2004, have been drawn against English League Cup winners Swansea City, Kuban of Russia and Swiss team St Gallen in Group A.

    Valencia's fellow Spaniards Sevilla, winners of the Europa League in 2006 and 2007, are in Group H along with Freiburg of Germany, Portugal's Estoril and Czech side Liberec.

    Chelsea won the competition last year, beating Benfica in the final. Jose Mourinho's team play Champions League winners Bayern Munich in the European Super Cup in Prague on Friday.

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