Trabzon officials reject match-fixing allegations
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Trabzonspor Chairman Sadri Şener denies any involvement in match-fixing. DHA photoTrabzonspor officials, including chairman Sadri Şener, have dismissed Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım’s claims that they were involved in paying incentives to other teams during the 2010-2011
Şener, his brother Sani Şener, and club board member Nevzat Şakar, were making their defense in the ongoing match-fixing case.
Şener said they “were only joking” in wiretapped conversations, while Şakar said that they were talking about paying a cleric 300,000 Turkish liras for the title, not other teams.
Fenerbahçe, who won the 2011 title on goal difference, is at the center of the ongoing match-fixing case, but the club’s jailed chairman Aziz Yıldırım repeatedly claimed that it was Trabzonspor officials that tried to manipulate matches.
Top name in the case
The Fenerbahçe chairman, in jail since early July, is the highest-profile of 93 football officials, coaches and players currently being investigated as part of the case. The indictment is based on more than a dozen games played in the Turkish championship last year. Although the season ended in Fenerbahçe’s victory, Yıldırım claims that runner-up Trabzonspor should have been at the center of the case.
“It was Trabzonspor that used politics to run for the title, they pressured the government for the title,” Yıldırım previously said, adding that Trabzonspor illegally received money from the government through the organization of the Black Sea Games.
He has added that Trabzonspor had paid money to Eskişehirspor as a match-fixing bribe. “The indictment should have been about them, and we should have been a sidebar.”
Yesterday, Şakar said that the club used the Black Sea Games’ budget to renew its stadium, which also hosted the games.
In earlier hearings, Sivasspor chairman Mecnun Odyakmaz claimed that Trabzonspor officials had approached the club to pay bonuses to Sivas, which was playing Fenerbahçe on the final game of the championship.
Şener and Sivasspor forward Mehmet Yıldız dismissed the claims yesterday.
Yıldırım has repeatedly claimed that he was not in jail for match-fixing, saying, “This is a plot to take over Fenerbahçe and to hold Aziz Yıldırım in prison.”
Most Fenerbahçe fans share Yıldırım’s views, claiming that the match-fixing case was only opened in order to dethrone Yıldırım, in an attempt to take over the most coveted seat in Turkish football.