The Court of Aberration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday upheld a ban handed to the 22-year-old by FIFA for breaching a contract with Trabzonspor.
The suspension has started with immediate effect, and he will also have to pay the club €100,000. Leverkusen have criticised the decision, saying that by losing one of their star players they have been unfairly punished for a matter which did not concern them.
Calhanoglu found in breach of contract
The dispute dates back to 2011, when the Turkish club had claimed that he signed a contract, despite Calhanoglu only being 17 at the time, which had been agreed with the player’s father acting as agent.
However, Cahlhanoglu then extended his existing contract with then-club Karlsruher SC, which Trabzonspor saw as a breach of contract.
They lodged a complaint to FIFA in April 2013. FIFA issued the ban to the player last year, however appeals were made by both parties, with Calhanoglu challenging the ban and Trabzonspor demanded repayment of a €100,000 advance and additional compensation of €1 million.
A three-man CAS Panel agreed that the player had “breached the FIFA Regularlations on the Status and Transfers of Players”, but also that Trabzonspor “did not comply with due diligence requirements in this matter.” As a result, they upheld the ban, but Trabzonspor will only receive the €100,000 from Calhanoglu.
Ban “completely incomprehensible” for Leverkusen
After leaving Karlsruhe for Hamburger SV in 2013, Calhanoglu then moved on to Leverkusen in 2014. Neither of his future clubs were implicated in the matter.
In a club statement, both Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Völler and CEO Michael Schade were critical of the verdict and the effect it would have on their club.
Völler described it as “completely incomprehensible” for them, and said that despite the club’s lack of involvement they were being “heavily punished” by being denied “a very important player in a crucial phase of the season.”
Schade echoed these thoughts, but admitted that the club has “no alternative but to accept the decision.” No comment has currently been made by the player.
Calhanoglu, who has played 22 times for Leverkusen in all competitions this season, will now each of their remaining 16 Bundesliga matches, including their game on Friday night against his old club Hamburg, and the remainder of their UEFA Champions League campaign.
Quotes via the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Bayer Leverkusen.