Galatasaray lashes out at TFF plan on rule-change
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Galatasaray Chairman Ünal Aysal has made several statements calling the Turkish Football Federation to be more active on deciding the bans regarding the match-fixing case. Galatasaray is the only top club that is not touched by the rigging claims. Hürriyet photoGalatasaray struck out at Turkish Football Federation’s (TFF) apparent attempt at changing the controversial article regarding match-fixing bans.
The Istanbul club released a statement on its website late Dec. 29, condemning the football national governing body’s setting a date to discuss the 58th article of the Disciplinary Code, which was suggested as paving the way for lighter bans against the clubs found guilty of match-fixing.
Galatasaray has criticized the TFF’s policies several times since the investigation went public, but the last statement, which came a day after the governing body announced it would convene an emergency meeting Jan. 26 to discuss the article, was the strongest move by the club.
“We have constantly warned the Turkish Football Federation to make decisions to clear the path for Turkish football and give it the place it deserves in world football,” the statement read. “But today we see that the TFF, with reasons that are clearly understood but rarely spoken about, is avoiding using its powers, leaving them to the general assembly meeting.”
So far, 93 officials are listed as suspects in the match-fixing case, which started after Istanbul police found several games from the top two leagues last season were allegedly manipulated. A total of 23 club officials and coaches were behind bars in the case, as part of which Galatasaray’s rivals, Spor Toto Super League champion Fenerbahçe, runner-up Trabzonspor and Ziraat Turkish Cup winner Beşiktaş, were included.
The General Assembly consists of members from several football clubs’ representatives, and the voting is likely to echo the views of the Union of Clubs, which earlier have made several calls to change the article.
Currently, the 58th article requires relegation for the teams of those whose officials were found guilty of match fixing, while it is expected that money penalties and point deductions will be imposed after the changes.
Meanwhile, supporters of Fenerbahçe, which is at the center of the allegations, released a statement rejecting the article’s change.
“Changing the [58th] article will put Fenerbahçe directly in the place of a guilty club, and even if our club is cleared of charges, it will remain under the shadow of a doubt,” read a statement released under the name Union of Fenerbahçe Supporter Groups. “Fenerbahçe fans are not afraid of relegation. Fenerbahçe fans are afraid of remaining in the league if the club is tainted.”
“Fenerbahçe fans’ conscience will not accept remaining in the league with a rule change,” the statement said.