Some 220 delegates from football club representatives will vote today in what is expected to be a crucial decision in the Turkish Football Federation’s possible sanctions in the gripping match-fixing case. The voting is about whether the article requiring relegation for manipulating games will be imposed.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) holds its landmark convention in Ankara tomorrow. About 220 delegates from football club representatives will vote whether the current sanctions on the match-fixing case will be imposed.
A total of 93 football officials, players and coaches are listed as suspects in the large match-fixing case in which eight teams risk being relegated from the top-flight.
Today, the delegates of the Turkish football clubs will vote on a proposal by the Union of Clubs, which suggests the 58th article of the TFF Disciplinary Code not be imposed in this case.
The article requires any team found guilty of manipulating or attempting to manipulate football matches to be relegated.
According to the proposal announced last week by the Union of Clubs, comprised of the chairmen of 18 Spor Toto Super League teams, “The teams found guilty of match fixing will be hit with point deduction starting from 12 points, those who were involved in such action will be hit with fines and the clubs who were found guilty will also be barred from UEFA competitions.”
Galatasaray, the only member of Turkey’s elite “big four” that was not touched by the match-fixing allegations, have been calling the TFF to act fast and decide on the sanctions against the teams charged with manipulating games. Several members of the Galatasaray board have stated the club wants the TFF to act in a way “to avoid a possible UEFA ban.”
However, Galatasaray’s designating former Minister Mehmet Ağar as one of the delegates to vote raised eyebrows yesterday.
Ağar was last year convicted of forming and leading an outlawed criminal gang within the deep state.
For Fenerbahçe, a change of the way to impose the mentioned article would put the club in a situation “where it is deemed guilty already” and will cause the impression that “the move was made only to save Fenerbahçe.”
Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım, who is arguably the most powerful man in Turkish football, sent a message from Metris Prison, where he is jailed pending trial as part of the case, two weeks ago, saying that his “team should be relegated” if the TFF is to change the imposition of the aforementioned rule.
Orduspor Chairman Nedim Türkmen has announced the 58th article should be reviewed since it did not separate teams that manipulated games from “those who just attempted to.”