ISTANBUL, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) — European soccer’s governing body decided on Wednesday to replace Turkish champions Fenerbahce with league runners-up Trabzonspor in the Champions League group stage draw.
The UEFA Emergency Panel, composed of the UEFA president and four members of the UEFA Executive Committee, met Wednesday following the decision of the Turkish Football Federation to withdraw Fenerbahce from the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League due to the fact that the club has been involved in alleged match-fixing, a statement on UEFA’s website read.
The UEFA Emergency Panel also decided that Trabzonspor will be replaced in the UEFA Europa League by its opponent in the play-off, Athletic Club of Spain. The UEFA Europa League play-off second-leg match between Trabzonspor and Athletic Club scheduled for Thursday is cancelled as a result.
Turkish football has been mired in a match-fixing scandal since a police operation on July 3.
Among the many people detained are the chairman of Turkish champions Fenerbachce and other high-level officials from the club.
The Turkish football federation said in a statement that UEFA, European football’s governing body, presented it with two options. One that Fenerbache voluntarily withdraws from this year’s premier European football competition or that the Turkish football federation bans the club from participating.
The draw for the UEFA Champions League group stages is set to be made Thursday.