Turkish football clubs caught
trying to fix matches but where the outcome of the game is not
affected will no longer face relegation, the football federation
said on Monday, drawing criticism from league leaders
Turkey is still reeling over a major match-fixing
investigation in which 93 defendants, including leading football
officials and players, are being tried in a case which has cast
a shadow over the country's multi-billion dollar league.
Clubs attempting to rig matches but who do not manage to
change the game's result will now face a minimum 12-point
penalty but will be allowed to continue playing in their
division, Turkish Football Federation (TFF) Chairman Yildirim
Demiroren told a news conference.
Previously, all teams involved in match-fixing faced
demotion regardless of whether or not the result was affected.
"Everybody was of the same opinion that the penalties
regarding attempts to influence results were disproportionate,"
Demiroren said following federation meetings over the weekend.
The changes to the disciplinary regulations posted on the
federation website also stated that individuals who attempt to
fix a match will be barred from playing or working at a club for
up to three years.
Individuals who influence the result on the pitch face a
Galatasaray, who do not appear in the court indictment in
the match-fixing case, condemned the TFF announcement and called
for the resignation of those leading the federation.
"The TFF is bringing Turkish football to a deadlock with its
attitude," Galatasaray's board said in a statement on the club's
"Galatasaray thus believes that the TFF administration
should resign immediately without causing further damage to
Turkish football," it said.
Monday's announcement is also likely to draw a stern
response from European governing body UEFA and will also anger
clubs not affected by the scandal, who had already rejected an
earlier reform proposal.
A previous TFF chairman and his two deputies resigned in
frustration in January over the federation's failure to agree on
how to punish clubs caught up in the scandal. Former Besiktas
chairman Demiroren was elected as the TFF chairman in February.
The scandal erupted last July when police carried out raids
against those accused of involvement in rigging 13 matches,
including Fenerbahce's 4-3 victory over Sivasspor which clinched
the league championship on the final day of last season.
The indictment names eight clubs, including Fenerbahce,
Besiktas and Trabzonspor. Fourteen players are among the
The TFF has been carrying out its own investigation and
Demiroren said 22 separate Super League games had been referred
to a higher disciplinary committee. He did not name the
individual teams but Turkish media reported 15 separate clubs
Despite the referrals to the disciplinary committee,
Demiroren said the federation did not think any of the results
in the top league had been affected, suggesting there would be
"The most pleasing point is that attempts to harm the values
that make football what it is have not reached a damaging point
and have not been reflected on the pitch in any way," he said.
Aziz Yildirim, chairman of last year's champions Fenerbahce,
is among the defendants.
Yildirim, who is still in custody, denies the charges and
says the case was specifically designed to undermine the
18-times domestic champions.
Fenerbahce, who were barred from the Champions League this
season due to their alleged involvement in the scandal, dropped
a court case last week against UEFA and the TFF over their
exclusion from the tournament.
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