‘No wrongdoing in title game’
Fans stand outside the Çağlayan Courthouse, holding pictures of Fenerbahçe officials, who are suspects in the case.Officials from Fenerbahçe and Sivasspor rejected claims at the eighth hearing of the match-fixing case Feb. 24.
Tamer Yelkovan, the chief financial official of Fenerbahçe, player agent Ali Kıratlı, who has allegedly worked for Fenerbahçe, Sivasspor Chairman Mecnun Odyakmaz and former Sivasspor official Ahmet Çelebi were among the names that presented their defense as part of the match-fixing case.
A total of 93 football players, coaches and club officials are listed as suspects as part of the match-fixing case, which started after the Istanbul Police Department’s finding that several matches from the top two leagues in last season were allegedly manipulated.
One of the controversial matches in the indictment is the Sivasspor-Fenerbahçe game, which ended in a 4-3 win for the visiting side and led the team to the title on the last day of the match.
Odyakmaz denied he was involved in match fixing and said “if I had an ability to manipulate games, I would help Sivasspor win the title.”
Yelkovan, who was charged with alleged involvement in the money transfers in match fixing, also denied the allegations.
“In big clubs there are 1.5 Turkish Liras incoming and outgoing in accounts and 90 percent of those are regular deals,” Yelkovan said. “I can never make a decision for the payment of money all by myself. I have at least 4,000 wiretapped phone calls, and they are all with chairman [Aziz Yıldırım] and board members.”
Judge Mehmet Ekinci announced he would consider lawyers’ demands for the release of 23 suspects, who were jailed pending trial since last July.
The hearings were continuing as the Hürriyet Daily News went to press Feb. 24.