Trabzonspor's hopes of overturning the outcome of the 2010-11 Süper Lig, in which they finished runners-up to Fenerbahçe, appear to be over after their appeal was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The club expressed its disappointment over the ruling issued yesterday.
A long-standing dispute between the clubs began when three officials from Fenerbahçe, including the president, were implicated in a match-fixing scandal in the 2010-11 season. The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) subsequently sanctioned the three officials in May 2012, but did not punish the club. Club President Aziz Yıldırım, who denied the charges, was sentenced to six years in prison but was acquitted along with 35 other defendants on appeal in 2015 having spent a year in jail. A trial of several defendants linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) is still underway as the prosecutors and police linked to the group are accused of orchestrating a sham trial against Fenerbahçe executives. Fenerbahçe had claimed Yıldırım and other executives were arrested and convicted on false evidence.
Trabzonspor has regularly petitioned world governing body FIFA and its legal bodies requesting that it intervene in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code and strip Fenerbahçe of the 2010-11 title and award it to them.
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 TFF and Fenerbahçe. Trabzonspor lodged an appeal to CAS in May 2018 which was heard in March this year. A CAS statement yesterday 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."
Speaking to Demirören News Agency (DHA), Trabzonspor Vice President Önder Bülbüloğlu said "CAS justice is dubious now" with the latest ruling.
"It is an incredibly ridiculous decision. Their rulings will be dubious now for us," he said. Bülbüloğlu pointed out that the ruling was originally scheduled for August 2 but they decided to announce it yesterday. "It was the CAS that praised our fight for clean football but it was them again who delivered a biased verdict. They are unjust," he said.
Bülbüloğlu said Trabzonspor will consult with its lawyers for a new road map on the issue.