Fenerbahçe wins as it struggles off the pitch
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe’s Brazilian midfielder Alex de Souza (L) celebrates after scoring his second goal against Kayserispor.Fenerbahçe won 4-0 against Kayserispor in the Spor Toto Super League while the major focus of the club was still the ongoing investigation into match-fixing allegations.
“The games last year were all clean. They are trying to pollute the pitch, which is a shame,” Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman told reporters after the game Jan. 21.
Kocaman said footballers needed to have been involved in a fixed match, recalling that no player was under arrest. The Fenerbahçe coach joined a call by the Istanbul club’s Deputy Chairman Nihat Özdemir, who said the punishment for the alleged match fixing should be made due to the current regulations.
The Union of Clubs on Jan. 20 decided against imposing the relegation ban in match-fixing cases, as the controversial 58th article of the Turkish Football Federation’s (TFF) Disciplinary Code will be discussed next week. The regulation states that any club that is involved in match fixing should be dropped to the lower division, even if the attempt failed.
Eight top-flight clubs, including Fenerbahçe whose Chairman Aziz Yıldırım is under arrest pending trial, risk being relegated from the Super League if the controversial article is not amended.
While Fenerbahçe struggled off the pitch, Kayserispor made the team’s job easy at Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium.
An 11th-minute strike by playmaker Alex had Fenerbahçe a goal up after 11 minutes, but it was not until his 67th-minute penalty that the host really began turning the screw. From there, Miroslav Stoch made it 3-0 in the 77th before Henri Bienvenu added a fourth in the dying minutes.
Also on Jan. 20, Sivasspor moved up to fourth with a 2-1 win at Bursaspor. Michael Eneramo’s 24th-minute opener put the visitors ahead, but the home side seemed to have snatched a point through Pablo Batalla’s 85th-minute penalty. However, three minutes later Sivasspor won a spot-kick of its own and substitute Cihan Özkara kept his cool to score.
Istanbul BB overcame the dismissal of Rizvan Şahin after less than an hour to beat Manisaspor 3-2. The Istanbul club was 3-0 up after 19 minutes through Efe İnanç, Samuel Holmen and Doka Madureira, but Murat Erdoğan pulled one back in the 33rd minute from the spot and Ahmet Özerk scored another after Şahin’s sending-off to ensure a tense finale.
Florin Cernat and Sanel Jahic netted either side of the break in Karabükspor’s 2-1 home win against Trabzonspor, for whom Burak Yılmaz pulled a goal back. Samsunspor beat Orduspor 2-0 as striker Theofanis Gekas scored in the 20th and 74th minutes.