Istanbul duo put coach search on hold before UEFA hearing

Istanbul duo put coach search on hold before UEFA hearing

Istanbul duo put coach search on hold before UEFA hearing

Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım (L) looks on before his team’s Europa League semifinal second leg game against Benfica at the La Luz Stadium on May 2. Yıldırım faces a lifetime ban on all football activity, while his club is facing a two year ban depending on the outcome of next week’s UEFA hearing. DHA photo

Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş have put their coaching search on hold while the two Turkish football giants are bound for UEFA match-fixing hearings next week.

European football’s governing body announced earlier this week that the two Istanbul teams will be subjected to hearings about match-fixing charges on June 21 and 22.

According to a UEFA statement, Fenerbahçe is facing a possible two-year ban from all European competitions, while Beşiktaş is facing a one-year ban.

Both teams are currently without a coach and their player and gaffer transfers could largely depend on the possible UEFA decision.

Fenerbahçe has parted ways with Aykut Kocaman and is in the market for a coach now. It was linked with many international coaches, including Swansea’s Michael Laudrup, but it does not look viable for the club to lure a European coach with the possibility of a looming ban.

Fenerbahçe looks more active on the local market, with Ersun Yanal and veteran Mustafa Denizli are being linked with the club. Yanal is the biggest favorite to take the vacant job, and is believed to be warm for an offer from a top Turkish club.

Earlier this week, Yanal parted ways with Eskişehirspor and is now available to listen to offers.
Similar could be said for Beşiktaş, which is also seeking a coach to replace Samet Aybaba, who has resigned last month.

The Black Eagles, too, were linked with many names, including Kayserispor’s Robert Prosinecki but Beşiktaş also waits for the UEFA decision.

The two teams, however, have made important transfer moves in the last week.

Beşiktaş signed Turkish international attacker Gökhan Töre from Zenit, while Fenerbahçe signed veteran Portuguese defender Bruno Alves.

The two teams have been battling match-fixing allegations since July 3, 2011, the date that the rigging investigation became public with several detentions.

An Istanbul court found several Fenerbahçe officials, including chairman Aziz Yıldırım, guilty of manipulating some matches of the 2010-2011 Spor Toto Super League campaign, which the team won the title over Trabzonspor.

Beşiktaş’s former board member Serdal Adalı and ex-coach Tayfur Havutçu were also found guilty of attempting to manipulate the 2011 Ziraat Turkish Cup final against Istanbul BB.

Despite the court decision, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) did not punish the teams, saying even though there were attempts of manipulations, those efforts were not reflected on the pitch.