Fenerbahçe president was formally charged in an alleged match-fixing scandal
ANKARA - AP
Aziz YıldırımFenerbahçe President Aziz Yıldırım was formally charged in an alleged match-fixing scandal on Saturday along with several players and club officials, a prosecutor said. League champion Fenerbahçe was ejected from the Champions League this season because of its involvement in the match-fixing scandal and it faces the threat of being stripped of its domestic title and possible relegation. Yildirim, who has denied any wrongdoing, faces charges of match-fixing and obtaining unfair economic advantages, said Fikret Secen, deputy prosecutor for Istanbul. A total of 93 people have been charged. If found guilty, the maximum punishment in the case is not clear. President Abdullah Gül on Friday vetoed parliamentary amendments that would have reduced prison terms for match-fixing. Parliament voted for the changes last week, only eight months after it approved sentences of up to 12 years for anyone convicted of fixing games. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç on Saturday welcomed the president's veto, saying it was in response to the public outrage over the reductions. Fourteen players were among those charged, prosecutors said. Yildirim and 30 others remain in jail and it was not clear when they will go on trial in connection with a scandal involving 19 allegedly fixed games last season. Yıldırım's club went unbeaten through the second half of the season and beat Trabzonspor to the title on goal difference. Trabzonspor officials have also been implicated along with officials or players from several other clubs. Chris Eaton, security chief of FIFA, said in October that there was mounting evidence that international and club matches are being targeted by gangs who attempt to bribe players and referees.