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Turkish champion gets 1-year ban from UEFA competitions

March 2, 2016

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish champion Galatasaray has been banned from UEFA competitions for one season for breaking Financial Fair Play rules.

UEFA said Galatasaray will be excluded from the Champions League or Europa League if it qualifies either this season or next. The club must also control its wage bill.

“The Turkish club has also been ordered to limit the overall aggregate cost of the employee benefits expenses of all of its players” for the financial years 2016 and 2017, UEFA said.

Galatasaray official Iskender Baydar told The Associated Press that club directors were meeting and “examining the text of the decision” before issuing a statement later Wednesday.

UEFA’s club finance panel can sanction clubs who overspend or miss financial targets.

In 2014, the cases of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain dominated the first round of sanctions in the FFP project championed by UEFA President Michel Platini. Both clubs had 20 million euros ($21.7 million) in UEFA prize money withheld.

Then, in a lesser case, UEFA also fined Galatasaray 200,000 euros ($217,000) and required the club to break even on soccer-related trading over a three-year period.

Galatasaray is now fifth in the Turkish league and sits outside the qualifying places for next season’s Champions League and Europa League.

A fourth-place finish will ensure Galatasaray serves the ban from the next Europa League.

This season, Galatasaray was third in a Champions League group behind Atletico Madrid and Benfica, then was eliminated in the Europa League by Lazio last week.

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