UEFA urges Turks to deal with match-fixing quickly
European football’s ruling body UEFA has urged Turkey to deal as quickly as possible with a domestic match-fixing scandal.
Turkish football has been shaken by a domestic match-fixing scandal that has seen 93 people, including the president of first division giants Fenerbahce, charged with rigging matches in the 2010-11 season.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, speaking ahead of a UEFA Congress Thursday, said Turkish football chiefs had to rule soon to determine whether players or clubs were to be sanctioned.
“The faster a decision is taken the better, not only for UEFA but for Turkey,” said Infantino.
“We’re speaking a lot with the Turkish federation but we have to move quickly because it’s a question of sport, we have to find out whether we should be preventing someone from participating or not.
“This decision must be taken quickly. For (national) league championships to run smoothly, questions must be answered quickly.”
Infantino said such affairs were dealt with differently in Europe, and urged the Turkish federation to act.
He added: “In Italy, where there is a specal law, in Germany or in Greece the length of time it takes to deal with such affairs is different.
“Here, we see that it goes on and on but we have to separate the disciplinary part of the affair from the criminal part.”
He added: “Turkey is a big footballing nation but it has a problem with match-fixing. It is up to the competent bodies of the Turkish football federation (TFF) to take the necessary disciplinary measures.
“It is not UEFA’s job to do this.”
He added that UEFA would not tolerate match-fixing or any other kind of corruption.
“Once the TFF has made a decision we’ll be keeping a close eye on this affair, whether the right decisions have been taken or not,” said Infantino.
“In Turkey a lot of proof (of match-fixing) has already been made public by the judicial authorities.
“And we want to remind everyone that our tolerance of such affairs is zero,” added Infantino, citing cases of “referees being banned for life, not because they helped fix matches but because they accepted being contacted to help fix matches”.
Fenerbahce has already been excluded from the 2011-2012 edition of the Champions League by the TFF for its role in the affair.
Despite winning the Turkish league last season, the TFF has yet to decide whether Fenerbahce will be stripped of their title or not.