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

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn