Yellow Angels show support for jailed Fenerbahçe chief
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Captain Seda Tokatlıoğlu (C) leads as European Champions League winning Fenerbahçe Universal players enter the Çağlayan Courthouse to attend a football match-fixing case in which the club’s chairman, Aziz Yıldırım, is being tried as a suspect.Players from Fenerbahçe’s women’s volleyball team yesterday attended a hearing in the football match-fixing case in which the club’s chairman, Aziz Yıldırım, is being tried as a suspect.
Coach Ze Roberto and members of the team Fenerbahçe Universal arrived at the hearing at the Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul with the CEV European Champions League trophy they won on March 25, to demonstrate their support for the jailed chairman. Speaking after the final game, the team’s captain, Seda Tokatlıoğlu, said the team would take the trophy to Yıldırım.
The head judge in the case, Mehmet Ekinci, did not allow the trophy to be brought into the courthouse for security reasons, and it was left on the team’s bus, but the players did greet a highly-emotional Yıldırım, CNN Türk reported.
This was the second day in the second round of match-fixing hearings. A total of 93 officials, players and coaches are listed as suspects in the case, which was opened after the Istanbul police found that more than a dozen games in last year’s Turkish championship had allegedly been manipulated. Yıldırım is among 16 suspects being held in jail pending trial.
Some suspects who are not jailed also testified yesterday, but the moments when Yıldırım took the stand were the highlights of the hearing. “This case is not about cleansing football. If it were, I wouldn’t be the only one here, the entire football world would be tried,” CNN Türk quoted Yıldırım as saying. “I will prove on Thursday that Trabzonspor [the runner-up to Fener in last year’s championship] administrators were aware that we were being wiretapped.”
Most Fener fans believe the case is a plot to dethrone Aziz Yıldırım, arguably the most influential man in Turkish football, in order to take over the club administration.