Doubts and protests grow on rigging rule in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has demanded to see a “non-translated version” of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) Ethics Committee’s report on the match-fixing case.
A total of 16 clubs involved in 22 of last season’s Spor Toto Super League games were probed and would be called to attend hearings at the Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK), after the Ethics Committee delivered its report to the TFF Executive Board.
A five-member team of legal experts prepared the report after working on the evidence, mostly compiled by the Istanbul Police, and found evidence that several games were manipulated last season.
The UEFA demand to see the documents in their original language comes the same week that TFF Chairman Yıldırım Demirören is set to meet with UEFA President Michel Platini to discuss his board’s decisions about how best to tackle the ongoing match-fixing case.
On April 30, Demirören announced the board’s highly-awaited decision on the match-fixing scandal.
Demirören, who spoke after receiving a key match-fixing report from the TFF’s Ethics Committee, said that even if some attempts were made, there were “no traces of match-fixing on the pitch,” implying that there would be no relegation bans for the clubs allegedly involved in match-fixing, including last season’s Super League winner Fenerbahçe, runner-up Trabzonspor and Turkish Cup winner Beşiktaş.
Earlier this week, Trabzonspor, one of the clubs that reacted heavily to the TFF’s policy in tackling match-fixing, demanded to see the Ethics Committee report in its entirety, following a report in daily Taraf claiming that “Demirören misquoted the report,” and that “the report actually ruled that there had been match-fixing attempts.”
However, a statement released from the Ethics Committee yesterday rejected these claims.
“The allegations against the TFF Ethics Committee members are completely untrue. TFF Chairman Yıldırım Demirören’s statements are in no way contradictory to our report,” the statement read. “Meanwhile, not a single member of the Ethics Committee has made a statement to the press regarding the content of the report.”
Galatasaray also continued its reactions toward the TFF ruling yesterday. Thousands of fans gathered in the Taksim district of Istanbul to protest the TFF, despite a decision from the Governorship of Istanbul which urged them not to hold the rally.
The crowd chanted slogans against Fenerbahçe and the TFF.
The rally came on a day when Galatasaray chairman Ünal Aysal said “the TFF’s attempts to cover the scandal without delivering bans will be returned by UEFA.” He also said UEFA would only accept Galatasaray as the champion, “even if they lose in Kadıköy” in the crucial derby at Fenerbahçe’s home ground next week.
Galatasaray are currently two points ahead of Fenerbahçe, and next week’s derby is likely to decide this season’s Super League champion.
Fenerbahçe, at the center of the match-fixing allegations, reacted to Aysal’s statements.
“Mr. Aysal is dreaming,” Fenerbahçe vice chairman Nihat Özdemir said at a press conference yesterday.
“We have a chance to win the title at least as much as them. Hopefully, Fenerbahçe will win the league.”
Fenerbahçe are set to visit Beşiktaş in the Super League playoff tonight.