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Trabzonspor lose 2010-11 league title appeal

The Super Lig outfit have lost their appeal to be crowned champions of the now infamous 2010-2011 Turkish Super Lig.

Turkish football club Trabzonspor’s appeal to be crowned champions of the 2010-2011 season of the Turkish Super Lig has been dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday.

In response to the ruling, the club issued a statement expressing their disappointment in the court’s decision.

The 2010-2011 season of Turkish football was marred by a match-fixing scandal that shocked the country when multiple clubs, players, officials including the chairman of Fenerbahce, were implicated in one of the biggest corruption scandals to rock the Turkish Super Lig.

Fenerbahce, who were crowned the champions of the aforementioned season, and Trabzonspor, who finished runners-up, have been in a long-standing dispute over the results of the season.

Fenerbahce’s chairman at the time, Aziz Yildirim, a controversial figure in Turkey, was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the match-fixing scandal but was ultimately acquitted along with 35 others upon appealing the court’s decision in 2015 after spending a year in prison.

While Trabzonspor continue to claim they were robbed of the league title, Fenerbahce maintain their innocence.

Trabzonspor have regularly petitioned FIFA and other legal bodies requesting they intervene in accordance with FIFA’s Disciplinary Code and strip Fenerbahce of the 2010-11 Super Lig title thereby crowning Trabzonspor the champions.

FIFA said it’s Disciplinary Committee (DC) “was not in a position to intervene” and that Trabzonspor did not fulfill the requirements to lodge an appeal before its Appeal Committee (AC) because it had not been a party to the original proceedings between the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and Fenerbahce. Trabzonspor lodged an appeal to CAS in May 2018 which was heard in March of this year.

A CAS statement issued on Tuesday said, “Having considered the evidence, the CAS Panel found that Trabzonspor did not have standing to sue in front of the FIFA DC and, consequently, it did not have standing to appeal in front of the FIFA AC.

“The CAS Panel recognized the sense of grievance on the part of Trabzonspor but noted that it was limited in the exercise of its jurisdiction in this particular case to apply the rules as they have been adopted by the TFF and FIFA.”

Trabzonspor vice president Onder Bulbuloglu spoke to Turkish media and expressed his disappointment in response to the ruling, claiming “CAS justice is questionable now”.

“It is a ridiculous decision. Their rulings will be questionable now. It was CAS that praised our fight for clean football but it was also them who delivered a biased verdict. They are unjust,” Bulbuloglu said while pointing out that the ruling was originally scheduled for August 2.

The club’s vice president said they will consult with their lawyers for new ways to solve the matter.

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