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Fenerbahçe accused again of match fixing

By Tony Attwood
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Corruption, according to the official media line, doesn’t happen in British football, but it is rife most other places largely because they are full of foreign types.
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Hence a considerable if passing interest has arisen in Fenerbahçe  where more five arrests for corruption have been announced, including the club president Aziz Yildirim.  He was imprisoned last summer for six years for fixing matches.
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The new cases will be heard on 22 June.
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As a result of the earlier upheavals Fenerbahçe were banned from the Champions League for 2011-12.  This time round Besiktas and two club officials have also been charged by Uefa with match fixing in relation to the 2011 Turkish Cup final.
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Much of the original case arose from an Istanbul player saying that he had been involved in match fixing in a match against Fenerbahce and in the Cup Final.

Fenerbahçe fans reacted to the situation at a friendly match between Fenerbahçe and Shaktar Donetsk by ripping out seats and throwing them at members of the press [can't condone that, but you see their point] and invading the pitch.   As the investigation wore on Fenerbahçe were ordered to play two matches behind closed doors and Chris Eaton, Chairman of the Fifa Security Committee, claimed that links to organised crime networks had been found during Fifa’s work with the Turkish police on the investigation.

On 16 January 2012 Galatasaray SK sent an official legal warning to the Turkish Football Federation saying, “If Galatasaray are not disqualified for the European competition next season due to a UEFA ban after the TFF decision regarding the removing relegation penalty, the Federation will have to take full responsibility”.

On 26 January 2012 General Convention of Turkish Football Federation, which are consists of Turkish clubs, rejected a federation proposal to spare clubs from possible relegation over a match-fixing scandal.

Then on 30 April 2012 Turkish Football Federation changed article 58 of disciplinary regulations regarding the way in which match-fixing was to be punished, and removed threats of relegation and stressing that all punishments can be postponed.

At this point  clubs started issuing legal threats against the Turkish Football Federation and Galatasaray demanded the removal of the new rules.  The Turkish Football Federation Arbitration Board,  rejected the appeals and the objections and then cleared everyone of any wrong doing, including Fenerbahçe who were by now barred from the Champions League.

On 10 May 2012 Michel Platini, told the Turkish authorities, “If you do not relegate the teams, you can not be in Europe”.

Following the failure of the Turkish authorities to do anything, and following their claim that they had never heard from Platini on the matter Platini said “UEFA has zero tolerance for clubs and players involved in match fixing because this is what kills football.”  But then on 22 June 2012 UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body agreed to allow Fenerbache to file new submissions – and with that allowed Fenerbahce to enter European competitions.

In the end no club was punished by Turkish Football Federation – not even the officials who had been given jail sentences by the İstanbul High  Court.

So when we read that Uefa have also announced that, “Proceedings have also been opened against Steaua Bucharest on the basis of … the 2013-14 Uefa Champions League regulations, relating to the admission criteria for participation in Uefa competitions,” we might be a little premature in thinking something might be done.   Yes the owner Gigi Becali of Steaua Bucharest has been jailed for three years for offering a £1.5million cash bribe to rival players to a throw a match.

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The decisions in the cases will be announced before the end of June.
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Last season Galatasaray won the Turkish league with Fenerbahçe second and Besiktas third.  On 4 August Arsenal will play Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup.
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But the rule seems clear – the courts can punish individuals, but the clubs generally get away with it.  This should not be too surprising, for this has been the case in so many situations – including the most notorious match fixing scandal of Manchester United and Liverpool.  In that neither the clubs nor the players were ever cautioned.   The authorities went one better with the Bronco Layne scandal in 1964 when he was found guilty of match fixing and along with several other players was jailed and banned from football for life.
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Nothing much changes.

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6 comments to Fenerbahçe accused again of match fixing

  • avatar Terence McGovern

    lol you should post links to the historical records of the Liverpool and Man utd match fixing on every Man U and LFC website and then let the internet do the rest. Before you know it, the daily mail will have a match-fixing scandal headline.

  • avatar colario

    The other night a little bit bored I was changing channels and to my surprise caught the words ‘Howard Webb’ I stayed. I watched the last minutes of Valencia v Bayen which HW was the official in charge.

    Set me thinking, would it be possible to review games that English refs referee outside the UK? I wonder what the findings would be.

    Gigi Becali is welknown in Romainia and is surrounded by accusations of coruption and wheeler dealing and the saviour of Steua. Its English name is Red Star Buchurest and was the army team and state funded uptil the overthrow of comunism, Bucharest means ‘joyios’ in English.

  • avatar americangooner

    I am of the opinion that the UEFA, FIFA is ruled by incompetents. they are never serious about racism, corruption or financial doping. Its very hard to know what they think about the direction football is heading towards. Yes, both Platini and Blatter used to play football. They were famous players. They obviously know the various problems permeating in football but they either turn a blind eye or lack enough courage to handle challenges. Being a football player does not guarantee that one has a management acumen. Unless the system that governs Football is overhauled, nothing is going to change.

  • avatar nicky

    Tony,
    I admire your fortitude. How can you find the energy to compose such a deep-thinking post and at the same time pursue Cesc, go dancing and meander around the Sangria Familia?

  • avatar Domhuail

    colario….and what does ¨joyios¨ mean in English? I think you mean joyous?