Aydınlar calls for emergency meet before crucial voting

Aydınlar calls for emergency meet before crucial voting

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Aydınlar calls for emergency meet before crucial voting

The TFF Chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar says he will get the opinions of the chairmen of the clubs from the top two division only two weeks before they will convene for a voting regarding the match-fixing investigation.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) is summoning team representatives from the country’s top two leagues for an urgent meeting today to potentially draft a road map regarding the governing body’s stance on match fixing. 

TFF Chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar called the chairmen of all Spor Toto Super League and Bank Asya League One clubs yesterday, informing them about the meeting in Istanbul whose agenda will feature the ongoing match-fixing investigation, daily Hürriyet reported. 

“We will get the opinions of the chairmen before the general convention [on Jan. 26],” Aydınlar was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “And of course I will express my thoughts on the issue.” 

Last month, the TFF set Jan. 26 as the date for an emergency meeting at which the controversial 58th article of the Disciplinary Code will be discussed and likely be voted upon. 

The 58th article calls for the “relegation” of any team that “manipulates games or attempts to do so;” the article could potentially affect a total of eight Spor Toto Super League clubs whose officials, players and coaches were listed as suspects in the rigging case.

A total of 93 officials and players are listed as suspects in the case, including several key names in Turkish football such as Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım, TFF Vice Chairman Göksel Gümüşdağ, former TFF Chairman Mahmut Özgener, Trabzonspor Chairman Sadri Şener and Beşiktaş board member Serdal Adalı. 

The initial impression was that the 58th article would be changed so that it would “not punish clubs due to individuals’ faults,” and would only require point deductions for match fixing, instead of relegation, after several calls from different clubs, but a recent Union of Clubs meeting changed the scene. 

After the meeting, the union, which is comprised of the chairmen of the 18 top-flight clubs, urged the TFF to quickly take action. 

“We invite the TFF to make decisions in accordance with the universal laws of sports,” Beşiktaş Chairman Yıldırım Demirören, the head of the union, said in a statement on Jan. 5. “But we suggest there are some inequalities in the article.” 

 “Those who manipulated matches and those who attempted to pay incentives [should] not be punished in the same way,” Orduspor Chairman Nedim Türkmen said later that day. 

Meanwhile, Fenerbahçe also announced it would make a press statement with the participation of all board members. 

Hürriyet said the club would make the statement Jan. 15. Although the agenda of the statement is still unclear, the daily suggested it could be about the club’s case at the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) and its banishment from the Champions League. 

Fenerbahçe is seeking 45 million euros in compensation after losing its spot in the top European competition. 
Club lawyer Emin Özkurt yesterday spoke to Hürriyet, denying rumors that the club would retract its case.