Home Global Game Europe Hutchinson completes Besiktas move, despite cloud of match-fixing

Hutchinson completes Besiktas move, despite cloud of match-fixing

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Besiktas made the signing of Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson official on Wednesday.

Now, Hutchinson has to sit on pins and needles to wait on a court decision. Aug. 30 will be a date that he and his new Besiktas teammates will have circled on their calendars. That’s the deadline for the The Court of Arbitration for Sport to announce its verdict on whether or not Besiktas will be banned from European competition or not.

UEFA found Hutchinson’s new club guilty in a match-fixing scandal; the punishment meted out was a ban from all European competition in 2013-14. Besiktas’s league standing in Turkey, third in last season’s competition, was good enough for the Europa League.

But Besiktas has appealed to the CAS, which has promised a quick ruling so the Europa League group stages can get underway without controversy. The CAS has allowed Besiktas to take part in the Europa League draw.

Turkish giant Fenerbahce is appealing a three-year UEFA ban.

From the Court of Aribitration for Sport:

“Due to agreements reached between the appellants and UEFA, the decisions challenged by Fenerbahce SK and Besiktas JK have been stayed and will not be enforced until the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) issues its final decision in each matter.

“This means that Fenerbahçe SK and Besiktas JK will take part in the draws of the first preliminary matches of the UEFA Champions League (Fenerbahce) and of the UEFA Europa League (Besiktas). In the meantime, the arbitration procedures are continuing following an expedited calendar agreed upon by the parties and it is anticipated that hearings will take place in August with a final decision being issued before 28 August 2013 (Fenerbahce) and 30 August 2013 (Besiktas).”

If Besiktas loses the appeal, then Hutchinson will have moved from PSV, a club that’s a regular in European competitions and has a solid international reputation, to a side that would bear the stain of match-fixing. In fact, reports from Europe suggest that other high-profile transfer targets, such as Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor, are holding off on Besiktas until after they find out if the club is going to be sanctioned or not. Of course, with a decision not expected until the end of August, even if exonerated, Besiktas may be hamstrung on the transfer market till the January window.

Hutchinson had been linked to a move to Everton, and made the decision to skip the Gold Cup so he could focus on getting a new club contract. But the 30-year-old Brampton native has made the move to Turkey, and Canadian soccer supporters will have to wait and see if our top midfielder will be back into European competition or will be marooned at a disgraced club.

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