FIFA, world football’s governing body, has confirmed that Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has been suspended for four months, meaning he will miss the rest of the 2016/17 season.
The ban relates to a dispute between Calhanoglu and the Turkish club Trabzonspor, which occurred in 2011 during the midfielder’s time at Karlsruher SC. At the time still a minor, Calhanoglu reached an agreement with Trabzonspor regarding a transfer to the club, before then extending his contract at Karlsruhe and later signing for Hamburger SV.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that this conduct amount to a breach of his agreement with Trabzonspor and banned him for four months, with FIFA confirming the decision on Thursday afternoon.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen were not involved in the dispute, having signed the player in 2014. “We cannot understand this decision and we greatly regret that it has been passed,” commented sporting director Rudi Völler. “It’s a huge blow for Hakan but also for us. Bayer 04 Leverkusen are being punished for this, despite having nothing to do with what happened. Now we are set to lose a very important player at a decisive stage of the season.”