Football: European ban for Galatasaray

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Galatasaray, the Turkish champions, have been banned from playing their next European Cup match at home.

Uefa, the governing body of European football, yesterday ruled that Galatasaray's supporters were responsible for throwing objects at both linesmen during their preliminary round, first leg match away to Avenir Beggen, of Luxembourg, last Wednesday.

Galatasaray, who surprisingly overcame Manchester United after a volatile home leg in last season's European Cup, are virtually certain of a place in the Champions League round-robin stage after a 5-1 win in the away leg in Luxembourg. They must now play the home leg at a ground at least 300 kilometres (186 miles) from Istanbul.

A Galatasaray official said that they would stage the 24 August return leg in the Aegean port town of Izmir, which is about 600km south of Istanbul.

''Uefa could have required us to play the game abroad,' Adnan Polat, a Galatasaray official, said. 'As there is no such decision, we will play the game in Izmir.' Polat called on supporters of the Turkish champions to behave more responsibly in future.