The Turkish Football
Federation (TFF) elected Besiktas' Yildirim Demiroren as its new
chairman on Monday, setting him the task of quickly resolving a
match-fixing crisis which has engulfed Turkey's domestic league
Demiroren, the chairman of Istanbul club Besiktas, was
elected by 221 out of 229 delegates who voted at the TFF meeting
less than a month after previous chairman Mehmet Ali Aydinlar
resigned in frustration at his failure to draw a line under the
An Istanbul court is currently trying 93 defendants,
including the chairman of champions Fenerbahce Aziz Yildirim, on
charges of rigging more than a dozen matches.
"We will establish dialogue with UEFA and seek paths to
emerge from this difficult situation," Demiroren told delegates
in a speech ahead of his election at the meeting in Ankara.
"We want to face them spotlessly clean at the meeting on
March 22 and finish this business off," said Demiroren, whose
own club Besiktas is named in the indictment.
Sanctions against clubs involved could include relegation.
However media reports suggest the federation could instead alter
its regulations so that only points are deducted, despite clubs
previously rejecting such a plan.
UEFA is scheduled to hold its annual congress in Istanbul on
March 22, bringing together its 53 member associations. Ahead of
the congress, UEFA's executive committee will meet in the city
on March 20-21.
The Istanbul court handling the match-fixing case released
seven defendants from custody on Friday evening, but
Fenerbahce's Yildirim remained in prison along with 15 other
The remaining accused are not in custody pending
trial. The next hearing is on March 26.
The allegations emerged at the start of 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.
Alongside Fenerbahce and Sivasspor, the indictment also
names Besiktas and Trabzonspor. Fourteen players are among the
Fenerbahce's Yildirim, who is accused of being a gang
leader, has denied the match-fixing charges, saying the
allegations against him were specifically designed to undermine
the 18-times domestic champions.
Fenerbahce were barred from the Champions League because of
their alleged involvement in the scandal.
against it could include being stripped of their domestic title,
thrown out of Turkey's top league and forced to play in a lower
one, penalties that could cost the club millions.
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