Match-fixing verdict to be announced Monday

Match-fixing verdict to be announced Monday

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Match-fixing verdict to be announced Monday

Fenerbahçe flags are hung outside the Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul, where the match-fixing case hearings are held. The verdict will be announced on July 2. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The gripping football match-fixing case will come to an end as the head judge Mehmet Ekinci said he will announce his final verdict at the Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul at 9 a.m. on July 2.

The landmark case, which became public after the first wave of detentions took place on July 3, 2011, was the first time high profile Turkish teams and officials were involved, after allegations from Istanbul police that several games from the 2010-2011 Spor Toto Super League had been manipulated.

A total of 93 football players, coaches and officials were listed as suspects in the indictment. The prosecutor is seeking jail time for 21 people.

Prosecutor Ufuk Ermertcan is seeking prison terms for several members of Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor, as well as players from Eskişehirspor, Sivasspor, Gençlerbirliği and Bursaspor for their alleged involvement in the manipulation of league games. Two officials from Beşiktaş are also listed as suspects for their alleged attempts to manipulate the team’s 2011 Ziraat Turkish Cup victory over Istanbul BB.

Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım, who is arguably the most powerful man in Turkish football, is the highest profile name in the case and has been jailed pending charges since early July.

Fellow Fenerbahçe official İlhan Ekşioğlu, former Giresunspor chairman and alleged mob leader Olgun Peker and player agent Yusuf Turanlı are the remaining four people jailed pending charges.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) made its own investigation on the scandal, and decided that there were efforts to manipulate some matches, but they were “not reflected on the pitch.”

The TFF cleared all 16 Turkish clubs, including Fenerbahçe, of involvement in an alleged match-fixing scandal, but it has banned players and club officials for manipulating and attempting to manipulate games.

İbrahim Akın, who was with Istanbul BB when accused, was banned for two years for manipulating a Fenerbahçe-Istanbul BB match, while former Gençlerbirliği goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge was given a three-game ban for attempting to manipulate a Gençlerbirliği-Fenerbahçe match.

Three officials from Fenerbahçe, İlhan Ekşioğlu, Cemil Turan and Şekip Mosturoğlu, were also given bans.