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Jul 16, 2013

Escude frustrated by Besiktas ban

Besiktas defender Julien Escude has told L'Equipe he is sure Turkey is by no means the only country facing match-fixing problems after his club's European ban was confirmed.

UEFA rejected a Besiktas appeal against a one-year suspension from European competition - meaning their place in the Europa League, won by finishing third in the league, instead goes to sixth-placed Kasimpasa. Fenerbahce had their three-year ban cut by a year.

Escude, 33, claimed the practice of La Liga clubs motivating sides to produce better performances against rivals by offering them "little suitcases" - or maletines - of money was tantamount to match-fixing.

"It [the Besiktas ban] is frustrating, especially as it concerns matches going back to 2011. But we just have to get on with it," the Frenchman, who joined Besiktas from Sevilla last summer, said.

"But it's not exclusive to Turkey. In Spain, I've known the maletines. In eastern Europe, I imagine that there must also be cases of it.

"When you're told that Barca are offering you a bonus if you beat Real three games from the end of the season, initially you're surprised. Afterwards, you realise that it's common practice.

"What's a shame, in our case, is that the hierarchy had done everything they could to clean up the image of the club, with a new president and new staff."

Despite his club's ban, Escude said he planned to work his way into the plans of new coach Slaven Bilic and see out the remainder of his two-year contract.

"I think this will be my last year here, unless Besiktas offer me a further season," he said. "Last year, apart from the last two months, I didn't play a lot. A new coach has come in, and we get on well.

"I would like [at the end of his contract] to find something else in France, the USA or Spain. I'm open to everything. I've got to an age where, if a club wants you, you're grateful."

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