Turkish prosecutors set to file match-fixing indictments

Reuters , Saturday 3 Dec 2011

93 suspects are expected to be slammed with charges in Turkey's match-rigging scandal that has jailed more than 30 players and officials


Prosecutors investigating a match-fixing scandal in Turkey are expected to file indictments on Monday against 93 suspects, including the chairman of champions Fenerbahce, according to Turkish media.

More than 30 players and officials, including Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim, have been jailed pending trial, since the scandal broke over the summer, forcing the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to delay the start of the season by a month.

One of two deputy presidents of the TFF, Goksel Gumusdag, are among those being indicted over alleged manipulation in 19 matches.

Prosecutors completed their probe and prepared the indictments on Friday, and they will be filed at an Istanbul court on Monday. The main prosecutor was due to issue a statement later on Saturday, Haberturk daily reported.

On Friday, President Abdullah Gul vetoed legislation approved by parliament that would have reduced jail sentences for match-fixing crimes from a maximum 12 years to three years.

The president based his decision on concern that the public would view the change in the law as being made to benefit certain individuals, and that the reduced penalties would not act as a sufficient deterrent.

Under pressure from UEFA, the Turkish Football Federation barred last year’s champion Fenerbahce from this season Champions League. Last year’s runners-up Trabzonspor was re-instated as Fenerbahce’s replacement.

Among the games under investigation are Fenerbahce’s 4-3 victory over Sivasspor which clinched the title on the last day of the season and the cup final between Besiktas and IBB. Besiktas has returned the trophy pending the probe’s outcome.

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