Turkey's match-fixing case killed, buried
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe fans show support for their president Aziz Yıldırım who is currently under arrest in the match-fixing case. AA photo
The fact that Fenerbahçe’s withdrawal of its appeal “coincided” with the conclusion of the Turkish Football Federation’s (TFF) Ethics Committee report fuels doubts that the match-fixing case is set to be closed by backroom deals.
Fenerbahçe announced it had withdrawn its appeal to TFF and UEFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, only hours before the definitive report on match-fixing. The Ethics Committee report was set to show the TFF Disciplinary Committee the way with regard to possible bans regarding the match-fixing case.
It was reported that UEFA President Michel Platini had voiced his concern about Fenerbahçe’s appeal during his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Speaking at the UEFA Congress a day after, Erdoğan said “millions [of fans] should not suffer from individuals’ mistakes.”
With the dramatic turn of events yesterday, it looks like Fenerbahçe has accepted to withdraw the case, which was called “a case of honor” by its chairman, evidently to get something in return. That something, possibly, will be the Ethics Committee report, which will apparently rule that there were no signs of match-fixing in last year’s games.
That being said, Fenerbahçe will be relieved that it will continue its title race without fear of a points deduction or European ban.
With the football aspect of the match-fixing case bound to be closed that way, it remains to be seen whether the legal process - which is still charging 93 football club officials and players and jailing 10, including Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım, pending charges - will be wound down when the hearings continue next week.