Trabzonspor president detained over match-fixing
Turkish police detained the president of Trabzonspor and the
former head of the Turkish Football Federation on Monday for
questioning in a growing probe into alleged match fixing.
Trabzonspor president Sadri Sener was detained a day after a
court charged and jailed the president of Fenerbahce, Aziz
Yildirim, pending trial. Fenerbahce won the title this year
narrowly from Trabzonspor.
Police also detained Mahmut Ozgener, former head of the TFF and
ex-federation official Levent Kizil along with former Ankaragucu
official Mumtaz Karakaya and Ankaragucu goalkeeper Serdar
The raids came as the federation considers what, if any,
measures it will take against Fenerbahce. The decision must come by
Friday; the deadline for notifying UEFA which teams will play in
European competitions. Potential sanctions include stripping the
club of its title and relegating it to the second division.
Federation officials were expected to consult club presidents
about the issue later Monday.
Yildirim has been jailed pending trial along with 25 other
suspects, including two other Fenerbahce executives, who are acused
of manipulating the outcome of games last season.
Turkey is the latest country to be affected by a slew of
match-fixing and betting scandals around the globe, from South
Korea to Zimbabwe.
In Turkey, investigators obtained evidence of cheating and
bribery involving 19 first- and second-division games, the police
Fenerbahce won 16 of 17 league matches in the latter part of the
season to come from a distant third place and beat Trabzonspor to a
record 18th title on goal difference.
Fenerbahce risks losing its league title in the same manner as
Italian club Juventus, which was stripped of its 2005 and 2006
Serie A championships over a similar scandal.
Shares in Fenerbahce have dropped by more than 35 percent on the
stock market since the news of the scandal surfaced a week ago,
while Trabzonspor shares have climbed by 11 percent amid hopes it
might be given the league title.
Shares in two other top Istanbul clubs, Besiktas and
Galatasaray, also dropped as the scandal struck the Turkish
The government has promised to be tough on match-fixing,
introducing legislation three months ago to confront hooliganism
and cheating in football which included a maximum 12-year prison
sentence for fixing games.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Fenerbahce fans,
who clashed with police on Sunday, to behave and to respect court