The Court of Abritration for Sport in Lausanne has cleared top-flight Turkish soccer club Bursaspor to compete in European competition this season, ruling against Uefa, the sport's continental governing body, in the process.
Bursaspor had been suspended from European competition for one year and fined €50,000 ($62,510) by the Uefa Appeals Body on May 30 for overdue payments for transfer activities dating back to 2007, but following an appeal to CAS on June 8, the court said the club can compete in the 2012-13 Uefa Europa League, the secondary clubs competition.
The CAS ruling stipulated that Bursaspor be excluded from one Uefa club competition for which it qualifies in the next four years, but that this exclusion is suspended for a probationary period of three years. The club's fine was, however, increased to €250,000.
Uefa said that it respects the authority of CAS, but did express its "disappointment and surprise" at the decision.
The federation said in a statement: "Uefa is of the firm opinion that it is imperative for clubs to pay their debts to other football clubs, and will remain vigilant to ensure that this happens in accordance with the rules laid down in the Uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations. These basic principles of good conduct should be strongly supported, and not undermined, by any future rulings from CAS."
Bursaspor finished only eighth in Turkey's top-tier Super Lig last season, but qualfied for the Europa League after winning a domestic four-team play-off.
Uefa also banned Istanbul-based Besiktas from the 2012-13 Europa League because of their financial problems.
Following last month's decision, the club said it would appeal to CAS, although no date has been set for the hearing.
Meanwhile, Uefa's Control and Disciplinary Body has said that another Turkish club, Fenerbahce, is still eligible for the 2012-13 Champions League, the elite clubs competition, pending a final decision of its disciplinary body.
The body said that it has allowed both the disciplinary inspector and Fenerbahce to file "additional submissions" in the case concerning a widespread match-fixing scandal.
In particular, Uefa, noted, the final reasoned decisions of the Turkish Football Association board of appeals have "only just been received and neither the disciplinary inspector nor the control and disciplinary body have had the opportunity to review these in detail."
Last month, the Turkish Football Federation cleared all 16 clubs, including Fenerbahce, which had been accused of corruption but imposed bans of up to three years on various players and officials in a continuing match-fixing probe.
Some 93 players, coaches and officials are on trial accused of involvement in match-fixing, with Fenerbahce club president Aziz Yildirim still in custody in an Istanbul prison awaiting a verdict.
Fenerbahce, which won the 2010-11 Super Lig but were then expelled from the Champions League because of the scandal, finished second in the domestic league last season.