Beşiktaş chairman tipped again for top Football Federation post

Beşiktaş chairman tipped again for top Football Federation post

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Beşiktaş chairman tipped again for top Football Federation post

Beşiktaş Chairman Yıldırım Demirören speaks at a Turkish Football Fderation (TFF) convention to decide on proposed amendments to the regulations on match fixing. DHA photo

Beşiktaş Chairman Yıldırım Demirören has emerged as the most likely figure to take over the hot seat at the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) after UEFA Vice President Şenes Erzik announced over the weekend that he would not run for the post.

Most Super League clubs have agreed on Demirören’s candidacy, according to reports yesterday in the Turkish media.

Gençlerbirliği Chairman İlhan Cavcav told Anatolia news agency yesterday that he would support Demirören for the post.

“Turkish football, which has been going through difficult times, should not head to another argument,” Cavcav said. “Demirören is a name that can bring the football community together and carry Turkish football to national and international success.”

The Union of Clubs, which brings together the 18 clubs in Spor Toto Super League, had confirmed earlier that it would support Erzik for the TFF chair if he decided to run.

Erzik reportedly said the duties he would assume as the TFF chief would contradict with his current responsibilities at UEFA, European football’s governing body, and FIFA, world football’s governing body. Mehmet Ali Aydınlar resigned from the post earlier this month after seven turbulent months in the role. His term was greatly overshadowed by a match-fixing probe launched on July 3.

Eight teams, including Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor, three of the country’s top four clubs, are currently facing possible bans as part of the match-fixing case in which a total of 93 sports officials, players and coaches have been listed as suspects.

It is not the first time Demirören has been mentioned for the post; the Beşiktaş chairman was unofficially nominated to be Turkish football’s chief at a Union of Clubs meeting on Feb. 7, a few days after Aydınlar’s resignation.

Support for Demirören

Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor, as well as many other Super League clubs, supported the idea and are expected to continue their support if Demirören decides to run for the post.

The only remaining member of the big four, Galatasaray, is likely to be placed in the anti-Demirören camp in the event that he decides to run. Galatasaray Vice Chairman Adnan Öztürk reportedly called on Demirören to step down as Union of Clubs chairman at the aforementioned meeting.

Demiören, accompanied by Sports Minister Suat Kılıç, visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 18 to wish him well after a surgery, and is also under pressure from club chairmen to run, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday.

If the Beşiktaş chairman decides to run, he will have to resign from his post at the Istanbul club. Beşiktaş will have an emergency congress in one month to elect a new chairman for the club.

The convention that will decide on the new TFF chief will convene in Ankara on Feb. 27. Three names, İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu, Zafer Mutlu Mermer and Erdal Alkış, have already announced their candidacies. k HDN