UEFA takes the court decision seriously
I am among those who are happy that football club Fenerbahçe’s president Aziz Yildirim was finally released from prison. He was unjustly under arrest for one year. He had to undergo a period that does not comply with any law. I hope these bad days are gone forever and other people who are unjustly arrested also gain their rights.
During this entire venture, there were two aspects that astounded me. I had written about them before, but I want to repeat them.
One of them is the mastery of Yildirim to draw fans to himself and the other is the loyalty of Fenerbahçe (FB) supporters. You can be sure that you cannot find this kind of loyalty in another club’s fans, let alone in Turkish society in general. There was no such passionate loyalty to Menderes, Ecevit, Demirel or any other leader. They were applauded when they were in power; once they were disposed of, however, they were forgotten.
The FB supporters believed in their president and kept their belief until the end. Finally, their expectations were met and they embraced their president.
Actually, we are facing an extremely strange situation. Ahmet Altan’s article in daily Taraf was wonderful in explaining this strangeness.
In short, as it said, “Yildirim served one year in prison before any verdict was reached about him; he was released the day he was found guilty and sentenced,” at the same time, it pointed out to what situation our justice system is in.
Ahmet Hakan from daily Hürriyet also analyzed the verdict with his column titled, “”My court knows what it is doing,” he evaluated this strangeness from a different point of view.
Indeed, what we expect now is that those who are in jail because of the same unlawfulness should also be released as soon as possible. If they cannot make use of it, then it is hard to understand why the law was introduced.
What will UEFA do now?
Now, let’s look at the other side of the medallion.
Even though Yildirim’s release generated much happiness, it is just creepier, the full picture that comes out when you read the entire text of the verdict.
The Football Federation said, “There has not been any match-fixing, even if there was, it was not reflected on the field.”
The court, on the contrary, decided that there was a match-fixing and threw charges against almost everyone, from players to administrators. In other words, it has manifested that match-fixing was also at the pitch. However, Turkish officials who are knowledgeable on the subject are very comfortable. The dominating atmosphere from the coverage on yesterday’s papers is “whatever the court says, this business is over…”
UEFA Disciplinary Committee member Levent Bıçakçı’s comments and UEFA Vice President Şenez Erzik’s interview with daily Akşam all imply the idea that the court’s verdict would not affect the UEFA. There are also views exactly the opposite of this.
Everybody is confused on who is right and who is wrong.
Actually, the federations are the expert institutions. In Europe, the national federation decides whether there is rigging or not and after that the clubs go to court to claim their rights. Here, we have seen just the opposite.
We are going through a chaos that is unique to us. We are facing a situation where it looks as if the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) did not want to see the facts with the intention of protecting some things, whereas the court has regarded it differently.
Well, we may be used to such strangeness; we may even disregard them, but the UEFA does not think like that. They take the court’s verdict extremely seriously and will not ever disregard it.