Champions League: Arsenal’s opponents Fenerbahce face European expulsion

Gunners could lose the tie, then be reprieved by CAS

The prospect of Arsenal being knocked out of the Champions League then being reinstated arose after they were paired with Fenerbahce in the draw for the competition’s play-off round.

The Turkish club were given a two-year ban by Uefa in June for alleged match-fixing when winning the 2011 Turkish title, but they appealed to the Court of Arbitration in Sport. The sanction was subsequently suspended until the case is heard, with a verdict due by 28 August (the day before the full Champions League draw). Arsenal travel to Istanbul on 21 August, with the home leg at the Emirates six days later. It is not clear what will  happen if the CAS upholds Uefa’s ban, but it is possible Arsenal could lose the tie, then be reprieved.

Another possibility is that the CAS comes to a decision within the next fortnight, which could mean Salzburg – whom Fenerbahce beat in the third qualifying round this week – are reprieved. That  might be preferable to Arsenal than receiving a bye, since every home match at the Emirates is worth £3m to the club.

If the Fenerbahce tie takes place, Arsenal will be travelling out of Europe as Fenerbahce’s Sukru Saracoglu Stadium is on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. It can be an intimidating venue but Arsenal won 5-2 there when the teams met in the Champions League in 2008 before being held to a goalless draw in London.

There is plenty of money in Turkish football these days and Fenerbahce have several players familiar to English audiences. The ex-Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt heads a trio of former Premier League players – the others being Joseph Yobo, previously of Everton, and one-time Newcastle midfielder Emre Belozoglu. They also have the Portuguese pair Raul Meireles and Bruno Alves, Yobo’s Nigerian team-mate Emmanuel Emenike and a clutch of Turkey internationals led by goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.

Celtic face a logistically daunting 6,000-mile round trip to the industrial city of Karagandy to play Kazakhstan champions Shakhter. They should not take their opponents for granted, given that Shakhter knocked out Champions League regulars BATE Borisov in the second qualifying round. Shakhter have also been penalised for match-fixing – by the Kazakh authorities in 2008. In the tie of the play-off round PSV Eindhoven play Milan.

In the draw for the Europa League’s final qualifying round Tottenham were paired with Georgian champions Dynamo Tbilisi, once a great team but now a shadow of their former selves, and Swansea meet Romania’s Petrolul Ploiesti. It will be a reunion for the managers as Petrolul’s Cosmin Contra, played for Swansea’s Michael Laudrup at Getafe.

Laudrup is refusing to set any targets beyond getting to the group stage of the Europa League. He said: “You take it step by step, we have two domestic cup competitions plus the Europa League and the Premier League. We could set a target and say it would be nice to do this or that, but you cannot do that.

“Now we are at the play-offs and, hopefully, we can get to the group stage and have six group games.”

British interest: European draws

Champions League play-offs

Fenerbahce v Arsenal

Shakhter Karagandy v Celtic

Ties to be played 20/21 & 27/28 August

Europa League play-offs

Dynamo Tbilisi v Tottenham Hotspur

Swansea City v Petrolul Ploiesti

Ties to be played 22 & 29 August

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border