19 officials’ rigging sentences postponed

19 officials’ rigging sentences postponed

An Istanbul court suspended the five-year sentences of 19 officials on Nov. 15, including Fenerbahçe board members Şekip Mosturoğlu and İlhan Ekşioğlu, for their involvement in the Turkish football match-fixing case.

According to the ruling, the decision will not be appealed.

Apart from Mosturoğlu and Ekşioğlu, Fenerbahçe officials Ali Kıratlı, Tamer Yelkovan and former Giresunspor chairman Olgun Peker were found guilty of “threatening,” “bribery” or “being a member of an illegal organization,” but their sentences were delayed on the condition that they not commit a similar crime in five years.

According to the prosecutor’s indictment, Peker was the number-one suspect in the match-fixing case, which claimed that an illegal organization was formed and that several matches from the top two leagues in the 2010-2011 season were manipulated.

Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım, who was also found guilty of match fixing and forming and managing an illegal organization, was excluded from the aforementioned suspension.

“The decision means the allegations about ‘the organization’ are definitive,” Şekip Hardal, a lawyer specializing in sports, told daily Radikal. “This does not mean acquittal but is like the judge saying ‘if you don’t commit such a crime then I will act as if you did not commit this one.’”

Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights rejected Trabzonspor’s request to be granted the 2010-2011 title since it did “not meet the required conditions” to open a case.

The club, which finished the 2010-2011 season in second, has been claiming that it deserved the title, following a court decision that ruled Fenerbahçe officials were involved in match fixing. The Turkish Football Federation rejected the request, saying that although there were efforts to manipulate matches, they were not “reflected on the pitch.”