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TURKEY > Eyes on UEFA's match-fixing appeals rejected

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Former Istanbul BB forward İbrahim Akın’s playing career might be over with a two-year ban. Ekşioğlu and Karan are also hit with bans while Kulbilge’s ban was reduced to three games. Hürriyet photo

Former Istanbul BB forward İbrahim Akın’s playing career might be over with a two-year ban. Ekşioğlu and Karan are also hit with bans while Kulbilge’s ban was reduced to three games. Hürriyet photo

All eyes will be on the UEFA, after the Arbitration Committee of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) rejected appeals of its previously announced verdicts in the match-fixing hearings.

With the decision, the TFF cleared all 16 clubs -- including Fenerbahçe, Trabzonspor and Beşiktaş -- of involvement in the match-fixing scandal of the 2010-2011 championship. However, the arbitration committee made some changes to the players’ bans.

A number of writers in the Turkish media are claiming that European football’s governing body might hit Turkey with a ban after the TFF decided not to punish clubs, but rather officials, in the match-fixing case. UEFA Secretary-General Gianni Infantino previously said the decision about how to deal with Turkish clubs rested with the TFF, but has implied that the UEFA might intervene “if necessary.”

The TFF last month issued its ruling on the match-fixing scandal, which was unveiled after the Istanbul police department’s allegation that several games from the previous season had been manipulated. A total of 93 club officials, players and coaches were listed as suspects in the criminal case opened at the judicial court, but the TFF eventually decided that even though there were some efforts made to rig games, “match-fixing was not reflected on the pitch.”

The ruling came about a week after the TFF changed a key article on match-fixing in its disciplinary code, which had said that any team whose officials were involved in match-fixing should be relegated. After the amendments, the clubs could also be hit with point deductions and monetary penalties.

According to the definitive result of the appeal, released on June 4, the three-year ban of player İbrahim Akın, who was with Istanbul BB when accused, was reduced to two years, for his involvement in manipulating a Fenerbahçe-Istanbul BB match.

Former Gençlerbirliği goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge’s two-year ban was reduced to three games for attempting to manipulate a Gençlerbirliği-Fenerbahçe match.

The bans against three officials from the 2011 Fenerbahçe team, which was at the center of the allegations, remain unchanged. Fenerbahçe board member İlhan Ekşioğlu was given a three-year ban for attempting to manipulate two games, and Vice Chairman Şekip Mosturoğlu and club official Cemil Turan were each given one-year bans.

Former Eskişehirspor player Ümit Karan was given a two-year ban, while Gençlerbirliği staff members Cengiz Demirel and Mehmet Şen, as well as player agent Yavuz Ağırgöl, were given one-year bans.

June/06/2012

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