Turkey’s football boss seeks support of UEFA

Turkey’s football boss seeks support of UEFA

Turkey’s football boss seeks support of UEFA

TFF chief Yıldırım Demirören (R) accepts a placard from Michel Platini during last month’s UEFA Congress in Istanbul. Demirören will visit the UEFA President this week with the match-fixing scandal being the agenda. AA photo

Turkish Football Federation (TFF) Chairman Yıldırım Demirören will meet with UEFA President Michel Platini this week to discuss his board’s decisions about how best to tackle the ongoing match-fixing case.

Demirören is expected to fly to UEFA headquarters in Switzerland tomorrow. On April 30, Demirören announced his board’s highly-awaited decision on the match-fixing scandal, which has rocked the national football agenda since it became public in July 2011, with the first wave of detentions following the Istanbul Police Department’s finding that several matches in last season’s Spor Toto Super League championship were allegedly manipulated.

In its first concrete step in the case, the TFF announced earlier this week that the 16 clubs involved in 22 games that were allegedly fixed last season would be called to attend hearings at the Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK). Demirören, who spoke after receiving a key match-fixing report from the TFF’s Ethics Committee, has said that even if some attempts were made, there were “no traces of match-fixing on the pitch.”

On the same day, the TFF announced a change to the 58th article of its disciplinary code, saying that attempted manipulation of matches could result in point deductions and monetary penalties. Prior to the change, it read, “Teams attempting to manipulate games will be relegated.”

The allegations center around champion Fenerbahçe, runner-up Trabzonspor and cup winner Beşiktaş.
Galatasaray was the only member of the elite “big four” that was untouched by allegations, but the TFF statement called on Galatasaray to attend the hearing as well, much to the Istanbul club’s anger. The club yesterday released an official complaint saying the TFF “would have to compensate any financial and or moral loss, because the club is being wrongfully probed by the PFDK.”

Galatasaray fans will also stage a protest in Istanbul today.

Trabzon demanded to see the Ethics Committee report in its entirety. This demand came after daily Taraf quoted an anonymous committee member as saying, “Demirören misquoted the report,” and “The report actually ruled there were match-fixing attempts.”

Kayserispor and Bursaspor also protested being added to the case, saying they would not defend themselves at the PFDK.