Leverkusen star Calhanoglu banned four months for 2011 contract breach

Thursday February 2nd, 2017

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu will serve a four-month ban imposed by FIFA for breach of contract.

The 22-year-old Turkey international must also pay 100,000 euros ($108,000) in compensation to Turkish club Trabzonspor, which he agreed to sign for when he was a teenager, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Thursday.

CAS said the FIFA ban, which was frozen pending the appeal verdict, "is reinstated with immediate effect."

Calhanoglu will miss Leverkusen's Champions League matches against Atletico Madrid and the rest of the Bundesliga season. He is also suspended for Turkey's World Cup qualifying match at home against Finland on March 24.

"It's a heavy blow for Hakan, but also for us," Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller said in a statement. "Although Bayer Leverkusen had nothing to do with the events in 2011, we are now being heavily punished. Now we're missing a very important player during a decisive part of the season."

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Leverkusen was not involved in Calhanoglu's breach, which came when he extended his contract with Karlsruhe in 2011.

"We obviously regret this decision, which we cannot follow in any way," Voeller said.

Calhanoglu was a youth player at Karlsruhe when he was paid 100,000 euros after agreeing to sign for Trabzonspor in the future.

The Turkish club lodged its complaint with FIFA in April 2013. Calhanoglu has also played for Hamburger SV since he left Karlsruhe.

Both Calhanoglu and Trabzonspor challenged FIFA's judgment in the case, and CAS said the club's appeal was only partially upheld.

"The club sought the return of a 100,000 euros advance that it had made to the player as well as compensation of 1 million euros ($1.08 million)," the court said.

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