Turkish FA defers action on match-fixing

Turkish FA defers action on match-fixing
By Reuters

12/07/2011 at 17:02Updated 12/07/2011 at 17:25

Turkish police questioned more footballers and officials in a match-fixing investigation as the FA said last season's results would stand as it lacked evidence to launch its own probe.

The federation's decision meant champions Fenerbahce, at the centre of the police investigation, were confirmed as champions and would take part in the Champions League with runners-up Trabzonspor, as long as UEFA agrees.

A Turkish court has already jailed Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim and 25 other officials and players pending trial on charges of manipulation in 19 matches and on Monday, police detained another 22 people, including Trabzonspor's chairman.

Among the matches under investigation was Fenerbahce's 4-3 victory over Sivasspor which clinched the title on the final day of the season, according to media reports.

On Tuesday, Istanbul B.B. players Ibrahim Akin and Iskender Alin were taken to police headquarters for questioning, state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

Besiktas executive Tayful Adali and coach Tayfur Havutcu were also summoned to give statements.

Those already jailed pending trial include four Fenerbahce executives, the chairman of Sivasspor, the coach of Eskisehirspor, Sivasspor's goalkeeper and the former chairmen of Diyarbakirspor and Giresunspor.

Turkish Football Federation chairman Mehmet Ali Aydinlar said it could not yet launch its own probe enquiry as it did not yet have any evidence or documentation.

"The disciplinary investigation will begin after the court accepts the indictment to be prepared by the prosecutor's office," Aydinlar told reporters after a meeting between the federation and club chairmen on Monday.

A former federation chairman is among those who have been questioned by police.

Speculation that Fenerbahce could be stripped of its title knocked a third of the value its shares last week, but it rose 8 percent on Tuesday after the federation's comments.

Trabzonspor rose 10 percent, Besiktas was up 6.7 percent and Galatasaray up 4.5 percent.

Aydinlar said the domestic league would begin as scheduled on Aug. 5 with league champions Fenerbahce and cup winners Besiktas to play in the federation's Super Cup on July 31.

"Teams will compete in European cups according to the current order," he said, adding that the federation was in constant contact with soccer governing bodies UEFA and FIFA.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called on Fenerbahce fans to respect the judicial process and has said the match-fixing affair has stained Turkey's image.

(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by John O'Brien; To comment on this story email

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