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Top UEFA inspector in Istanbul for fixing case

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 8/22/2011 12:00:00 AM |

European football’s governing body gets involved in the Turkish match fixing case as the UEFA inspector on integrity and regulatory affairs arrives in Istanbul to meet Turkish officials. Pierre Cornu met a prosecutor and the TFF chair

A UEFA inspector came to Istanbul to meet public prosecutor and Turkish Football Federation chairman on Monday.

UEFA’s chief legal counsel for integrity and regulatory affairs, Pierre Cornu, has arrived in Istanbul to meet Turkish officials and gather information about the ongoing match-fixing investigation that has rocked the national football agenda.

Cornu arrived in Istanbul on Monday morning and went to the Istanbul Courthouse in Beşiktaş to meet prosecutor Mehmet Berk and football federation chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar.

The gripping match-fixing scandal has rocked the national football agenda after it started on July 3 with the detention of more than 40 club officials, players and coaches. After six weeks, the investigation has jailed 31 people pending trial and more than 100 people have been questioned.

The investigation started with the Istanbul Police’s claims that 19 games were manipulated in the country’s top two football leagues.

Last season’s Spor Toto Super League champion Fenerbahçe, runner-up Trabzonspor and Ziraat Turkish Cup winner Beşiktaş are the three high-profile teams involved in the case, and all risk being relegated from the top flight for the first time in their history, while Sivasspor, Eskişehirspor and Istanbul BB from Super League and League One sides Giresunspor and Diyarbakırspor are also involved in the case. However, Aydınlar announced last Monday that the national football’s governing body would not decide on possible punishments for the teams until the “indictment is written.”

Meanwhile, Istanbul Criminal Court Judge Nurullah Çınar ruled in favor of jailed coach Bülent Uygun, who requested a ban on reporting on the issue.

According to the decision, the press will not be able to publish or broadcast testimonies, information, evidence and wiretapped speeches in the investigation files, following the request of Uygun’s lawyers.

“Although there is no verdict on the events and suspects in the case, the media’s coverage damages the rights and reputations of the suspects, along with their families,” the decision statement read.

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