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TURKEY > Judge to announce verdict on match-fixing case today

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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Fenerbahçe fans closely followed the match-fixing hearings since the first one in February, opening banners in support of the team’s jailed chairman Aziz Yıldırım. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Fenerbahçe fans closely followed the match-fixing hearings since the first one in February, opening banners in support of the team’s jailed chairman Aziz Yıldırım. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The gripping football match-fixing case will come to an end with the head judge Mehmet Ekinci set to announce his final verdict at the Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul today at 10 a.m..

The landmark case, which became public after the first wave of detentions took place on July 3, 2011, was the first time high profile Turkish teams and officials were involved, after allegations from Istanbul police that several games from the 2010-2011 Spor Toto Super League had been manipulated.

A total of 93 footballers, coaches and officials were listed as suspects in the indictment. The prosecutor is seeking jail time for 21 people.

Prosecutor Ufuk Ermertcan is seeking prison terms for several members of Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor, as well as players from Eskişehirspor, Sivasspor, Gençlerbirliği and Bursaspor for their alleged involvement in the manipulation of league games. Two officials from Beşiktaş are also listed as suspects for their alleged attempts to manipulate the team’s 2011 Ziraat Turkish Cup victory over Istanbul BB.

Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım, who is arguably the most powerful man in Turkish football, is the highest profile name in the case and has been jailed pending charges since early July.

Fellow Fenerbahçe official İlhan Ekşioğlu, former Giresunspor chairman and alleged mob leader Olgun Peker and player agent Yusuf Turanlı are the remaining four people jailed pending charges.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) made its own investigation on the scandal, and decided that there were efforts to manipulate some matches, but they were “not reflected on the pitch.”

The TFF cleared all 16 Turkish clubs, including Fenerbahçe, of involvement in the alleged match-fixing scandal, but it has banned players and club officials for manipulating and attempting to manipulate games.

Former Istanbul BB player İbrahim Akın got the biggest ban, with being suspended from football for two years for manipulating a Fenerbahçe-Istanbul BB match.

July/02/2012

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