Aydınlar defiant to calls for no relegation
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Football Federation Chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar says the 58th article of the Disciplinary Code will not be changed despite calls from clubs’ chairmen. AA photoTurkish Football Federation (TFF) Chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar said the national game’s governing body will not bow down to calls to withhold the relegation ban.
The 58th article of the Disciplinary Code of the TFF, which states “any team involved in match fixing will be relegated,” will not be changed, Aydınlar said on the television show “Telegol” on Kanaltürk.
“I say it clearly, the code will not be changed,” Aydınlar said Dec. 19. “The 58th article will not be changed as long as I am here.”
Aydınlar was also asked a request by Fenerbahçe board member Murat Özaydınlı.
“We were just having a conversation there. What do we do? Wouldn’t we relegate a team just because [Özaydınlı] told us not to?” Aydınlar said. “Did I say ‘OK’ to him? No, I didn’t.”
Aydınlar’s statement came amid controversy following a Union of Clubs call to reconsider match-fixing laws. The union, which is formed by the chairmen of the 18 football clubs in the top-flight, said “clubs should not be punished due to individuals’ faults.”
A total of 93 football club officials, players and coaches are suspects as part of the match-fixing case and several teams, including defending Spor Toto Super League champion Fenerbahçe, runner-up Trabzonspor, Turkish Cup winner Beşiktaş, along with Istanbul BB, Eskişehirspor, Mersin İdman Yurdu and Sivasspor, are listed as teams allegedly involved in match-fixing.
The TFF initially said it would wait for the indictment of the case to be released to make decisions on match fixing. But one day before the start of the new Spor Toto Super League season Sept. 9, Aydınlar announced that the governing body would wait until the end of the season even if there were punishments.
He said UEFA did not agree with this decision initially, but then the European football’s governing body was convinced.
“They told us that would not be correct, but we eventually agreed,” Aydınlar said.
[HH] Digiturk call ‘unacceptable’
The TFF chairman was also defiant on a call from Digiturk, saying the broadcaster’s demand for compensation was “unacceptable.”
Earlier this week, Digiturk, Turkey’s biggest digital broadcaster and the official holder of the Spor Toto broadcasting rights, reportedly started seeking compensation from the county’s football authority and clubs for losses allegedly incurred from the probe into alleged match fixing.
The company, controlled by Çukurova Holding, was in talks with the TFF over losses it put at over $100 million, Anatolia news agency reported earlier this week. The broadcaster may apply to the courts to lower the broadcast fee it pays the federation if there is no agreement, it said.
“It is impossible to accept their demand,” Aydınlar said. “Digiturk is our most important business partner. They say they will take it to court, but I think they have no chance.”
Digiturk agreed last year to pay $424 million a year, including taxes and fees, over four years for broadcast rights to matches in the top league.
Subscription revenue has dropped since police began an investigation into alleged match fixing, adding to costs caused by the fall in the value of the Turkish Lira against the dollar, Digitürk said, according to Anatolia news agency.