Aydınlar’s spell as TFF President may end soon
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Football Federation Chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar comes under heavy pressure after losing the support of even his closest ally, Yıldırım Demirören, in the General Convention.Chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar has delayed a key Turkish Football Federation (TFF) meeting scheduled for Jan. 27, fueling rumors that he would step down from his position.
Daily Hürriyet reported that Aydınlar had gone on a short holiday, as he “needed a time to think about his future.” He will hold the crucial meeting next week.
The TFF Chairman came under intense pressure a day earlier, when representatives from football clubs convened to discuss a key decision in the match-fixing case.
A proposal to impose a no-relegation clause in the current match-fixing investigation, as part of which eight clubs are involved, was rejected at the meeting. Aydınlar was criticized many times during the day, including by his closest ally, Beşiktaş and Union of Clubs chief Yıldırım Demirören. “We can retract our proposal and call for the TFF chairman to seek a vote of confidence,” Demirören said, regarding the proposal. “Let’s make a decision for a new election. Let this fight end.”
Aydınlar has responded, saying that he “was only at the post to serve Turkish football” and can “leave with pride just as I came.”
The vote means the 58th article of the Disciplinary Code will remain in effect, requiring “teams found guilty of manipulating or attempting to manipulate to be relegated.”
The TFF previously announced it would decide on the possible sanctions at the end of the season, but the Turkish media suggested UEFA, European football’s governing body, had been pushing for a decision before April. While the TFF investigation goes on, the judicial process into the match-fixing case also continues. Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım and three other club members are currently jailed pending trial as part of the case, while a total of 23 sport officials and coaches are under arrest.
“We want nothing but a fair judgment,” Fenerbahçe Vice Chairman Nihat Özdemir said in the meeting, continuing his club’s rift with the TFF administration.
The 23rd weekend of the Spor Toto Super League will be played in the shadow of the controversial convention. Leader Galatasaray, who holds a five-point lead over rivals Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, will take on Bursaspor on Jan. 28. Earlier that day, Antalyaspor will meet Gençlerbirliği.
On Jan. 29, Fener will try to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat to Istanbul BB, when it visits Mersin İdman Yurdu. Elsewhere it is Ankaragücü vs. Trabzonspor, Gaziantepspor vs. Sivasspor, Samsunspor vs. Istanbul BB, Karabük vs. Manisaspor and Eskişehirspor vs. Orduspor.