UEFA urges Turkey for rapid action on rigging
UEFA Secretary-General Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference after a two-day executive board meeting held in Istanbul. The UEFA Congress starts today. AA photo
Turkish Football Federation (TFF) should deal with the match-fixing scandal ‘rapidly,’ a top UEFA official said in Istanbul yesterday.
UEFA Secretary-General Gianni Infantino said a decision on dealing with Turkish clubs implicated in a match-fixing scandal rests with the TFF, adding the federation should “rapidly” take “the right and appropriate” sanctions.
Fenerbahçe chief Aziz Yıldırım and 92 other club officials, players and coaches are on trial in a scandal that allegedly involves more than a dozen league games last season.
“What matters most is to take the just decisions,” Infantino said. “As far as I know there are many evidence in the Turkish case.”
Last year’s Super League champion Fenerbahçe, which denies any wrongdoing, was barred from the Champions League but the Turkish federation is yet to make a decision on other possible sanctions for last year’s league champions or any other teams implicated, including Turkish Cup winner Beşiktaş and league runner-up Trabzonspor.
The federation’s chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar, who came under heavy criticism by Fener fans, stepped down in January after a proposed rule change was rejected that would have deducted points from the league standings but prevented the implicated teams from being relegated.
“The quicker the decision the better it is for Turkish football,” Infantino said.
Fenerbahçe appealed to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding its Champions League, seeking 45 million Euros of compensation.
Infantino refused a UEFA involvement in the exclusion, saying “Turkish Football Federation gave up on sending Fenerbahçe” and the European football’s governing body “called the second team [Trabzonspor] instead.”
Infantino’s remarks came at the end of two-day executive committee meeting and ahead of the UEFA Congress in Istanbul, where the chairmen of all 53 European football federations meet.
Meanwhile, UEFA launched the bidding process for the 2020 European Championship yesterday and said a decision on the host would be reached in late 2013 or early 2014.
Infantino said invitations to bid will be sent to all 53 football nations outlining the hosting requirements. Nations will have two months in which to declare an interest. Joint bids are likely to be allowed for the 24-nation tournament. “We have 24 teams, which means nine (stadiums) are necessary to organize such an event,” said Infantino, expressing the difficulty of hosting.
Additional reports from AP was used in this story