Fenerbahçe fans preparing for rally outside courthouse

Fenerbahçe fans preparing for rally outside courthouse

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe fans preparing for rally outside courthouse

In this file photo Fenerbahçe fans gather outside the Çağlayan Courthouse, where a match-fixing hearing is held. The 15th hearing of the case will be held today. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Fenerbahçe fans are planning to gather outside the Çağlayan Courthouse where a key decision in the gripping Turkish football match-fixing case might be made.

Three Fenerbahçe officials, including Chairman Aziz Yıldırım, board member İlhan Ekşioğlu and chief financial officer Tamer Yelkovan, are among the 10 football club officials that have been jailed pending trial since July 2011 as part of the match-fixing case, which started after the Istanbul police’s finding that several matches were allegedly manipulated in last season’s Spor Toto Super League championship.

Head judge Mehmet Ekinci will decide today whether to accept the lawyers’ demands for acquittal.
There was stadium-like atmosphere on the days of key decisions of the earlier hearings, and police used pepper gas in clashes with the Fenerbahçe fans.

Yesterday Ekşioğlu said he had not been involved in a single talk with rivals’ players regarding match-fixing attempts, in his plea for acquittal.

“I have not been involved in match-fixing talks,” he said in yesterday’s hearing. “I am in too much pain. Either use an electronic clamp on me, or issue me a ban on leaving the country. I beg you to release me.”

A total of 93 football club officials, players and coaches from at least a dozen clubs are involved in the match-fixing case.

Gençlerbirliği Chairman İlhan Cavcav said neither last year’s champion Fenerbahçe nor runner-up
Trabzonspor had attempted match fixing.

“Fenerbahçe officials have asked me whether Trabzonspor officials had attempted to pay incentives to their rivals,” Cavcav said. “I said ‘Don’t worry. Those things cannot happen where I am in charge.’

“No one can even drink tea without my knowledge. If there was match fixing, I would know it.”