Union of Clubs proposes lifting relegation ban

Union of Clubs proposes lifting relegation ban

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Union of Clubs proposes lifting relegation ban

Hasan Akıncıoğlu, the vice chairman of the Union of Clubs, says that the Union does not want to change the 58th article of the Disciplinary Code, but it suggests the Turkish Football Federation does not impose it for this time. Eight top-flight clubs risk being relegated from the Super League if the controversial article is not amended. AA photo

The Union of Clubs on Jan. 20 decided against imposing the relegation ban in match-fixing cases, as the controversial 58th article of the Turkish Football Federation’s (TFF) Disciplinary Code will be discussed next week.

The union, which is formed by the chairmen of the top-flight football clubs, had a meeting with the TFF with the article being the main agenda.

“The teams found guilty of match fixing will be hit with point deduction starting from 12 points, and those who were involved in such action will be hit with fines,” the union’s vice chairman and Antalyaspor chief Hasan Akıncıoğlu said after the meeting. “The clubs who were found guilty will also be barred from UEFA competitions.”

Akıncıoğlu said a proposal, which lifts the relegation ban on match fixing and imposes point deduction regarding the current match-fixing scandal, will be voted on by the TFF General Convention on Jan. 26 in Istanbul.

Akıncıoğlu’s statements come at a time when several Turkish top-flight clubs were calling for an amendment in the 58th article, which requires any team found guilty of manipulating or attempting to manipulate football matches to be relegated. A total of 93 football officials, players and coaches were listed as suspects in the gripping match-fixing scandal, while a total of eight clubs risk relegation.

The Union of Clubs has long been arguing that relegating eight teams would damage Turkish football and clubs should not be damaged “for individuals’ faults.”

Akıncıoğlu said they did not want the 58th article to be changed, but they will discuss whether to impose it.

“We will present this proposal to impose point deductions, European ban and monetary penalty instead of relegation,” he said. “If it is approved by vote, then we won’t impose the 58th article this time, but if it is not voted in, then the 58th article will continue to be in effect.”

The Antalyaspor chairman said the possible bans will be imposed at the end of the regular season and before the playoffs, adding that stripping teams of their titles was also on the table.

Fenerbahçe won last year’s Spor Toto Super League title over Trabzonspor on a goal difference and both teams are listed as suspects.

Ziraat Turkish Cup winner Beşiktaş and runner-up Istanbul BB also had officials and players involved in the case.