Three more charged in Turkish matchfixing probe

ISTANBUL - Turkish authorities have charged three further suspects in connection with alleged matchfixing, state-run news agency Anatolian reported.

Sariyer District Court in Istanbul confirmed charges, Anatolian said, against Recep Ozturk, a goalkeeper with second-tier Konyaspor, Temel Eyupoglu, chairman of third-tier Tepecikspor, and businessman Ali Riza Gultekin.

Eight more people were being questioned on Friday, and further arrests could follow, authorities said.

Former international defender Fatih Akyel, part of the Turkey team which came third at the 2002 World Cup, was arrested on Thursday and remanded in custody on charges of fraud and gang membership, his lawyer said.

NEWS: Akyel faces matchfixing charges

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) confirmed this week it had asked Istanbul prosecutors last August to investigate match fixing. The scale of the investigation and detentions has shocked the country.

Police on Wednesday detained 46 people in connection with the probe. They have since freed five of them including Arif Erdem, a deputy trainer of top-division Istanbul club Buyuksehir Belediyespor and Taner Gulleri, a striker with the club.

Newspaper Haberturk on Friday published a list of 59 games dating from 2007 to 2009, including 10 top league matches it said were under investigation for manipulation.

The TFF declined to comment.

Turkey is bidding to stage the European Championship in 2016 and Hakan Unsal, who played with Akyel at the 2002 World Cup, said the arrests were a blow to the perception of Turkish football.

"I'm very sorry that my former team mates are in such a situation... I'm sure the investigation will prove their innocence. This is a blow to the perception of the football community," he told broadcaster NTV.

NEWS: Turkish police detain 46 in matchfixing probe

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