Turkey results to stand despite match-fixing

ISTANBUL - Turkish police questioned more footballers and officials in a major match-fixing investigation on Tuesday while the football federation said last season's results would stand because it lacked evidence to launch its own inquiry.

The federation's decision meant champions Fenerbahce, at the centre of the police investigation, will keep its title and take part in the lucrative Champions League competition along with runners-up Trabzonspor, subject to UEFA agreement.

The latest high-profile figures facing investigation, the chairman of league runners-up Trabzonspor and a former federation chairman, were brought to an Istanbul courthouse for questioning by prosecutors on Tuesday, state media said.

Police also detained Besiktas deputy chairman Serdal Adali and coach Tayfur Havutcu and Istanbul B.B. players Ibrahim Akin and Iskender Alin, the state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

A Turkish court has already jailed Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim (pictured) and 25 other officials and players pending trial on charges of manipulation in 19 matches.

On Monday, police detained another 22 people, including Trabzonspor's chairman.

Media reports said among the matches under investigation was Fenerbahce's 4-3 victory over Sivasspor which clinched the title on the final day of the season.

Those already jailed pending trial include four Fenerbahce executives, the chairman of Sivasspor, the coach of Eskisehirspor, Sivasspor's goalkeeper and the former chairmen of Diyarbakirspor and Giresunspor.


Turkish Football Federation chairman Mehmet Ali Aydinlar said it could not yet launch its own inquiry as it did not yet have any evidence or documentation.

"The disciplinary investigation will begin after the court accepts the indictment to be prepared by the prosecutor's office," Aydinlar told reporters after a meeting between the federation and club chairmen on Monday.

Speculation that Fenerbahce could be stripped of its title knocked a third of the value its shares last week, but it rose 19 percent on Tuesday after the federation's comments.

Trabzonspor rose 7.6 percent, Besiktas was up 4.5 percent and Galatasaray up 2.8 percent.

Aydinlar said the domestic league would begin as scheduled on August 5 with league champions Fenerbahce and cup winners Besiktas to play in the federation's Super Cup on July 31.

"Teams will compete in European cups according to the current order," he said, adding that the federation was in constant contact with football governing bodies UEFA and FIFA.

But the chairman of major Istanbul club Galatasaray, which has not been mentioned in the investigation, said on Tuesday a delay to the start of the new season should be considered.

"Every day that decisions are delayed, Turkish football is damaged," Galatasaray's Unal Aysal said in a statement on the club's website, calling for evidence in the investigation to be given rapidly to the federation so it could take decisions.

"If necessary this could include a decision to delay the leagues . "

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called on Fenerbahce fans to respect the judicial process and has said the match-fixing affair has stained Turkey's image.