The Way Fixing Works…
Turkey is in a situation far worse to Italy circa 2006. Italy saw its biggest clubs, AC Milan, Fiorentina and the biggest of them all, Juventus, all hit hard. Juventus worst of all, relegated down a division with a hefty points deduction and the humiliation of being stripped of their previous two Scudetto’s, all for match fixing. Turkey has seen a grand total of 16 clubs implicated in the most recent match fixing scandal.
The biggest of these is without a doubt Fenerbahçe, 18 time winners of the Süper Lig and fairly regular Champions League competitors. Fenerbahçe won the 2010-11 season on the final day of the season, beating Sivasspor 4-3, allowing them to finish above Trabzonspor on goal difference. All of this sounds thrilling, exciting, but the season is marred by dodgy and suspicious results in a variety of fixtures, and Fenerbahçe appear in a lot of them.
But as already mentioned, they aren’t the only clubs involved, 15 others come in at a smaller scale to this. These include Trabzonspor and the Turkish Cup finalists Beşiktaş and Istanbul. But like with the Italian case, they will be hunted down and they will be given severe punishments.
The match-fixing isn’t being done my gangs, threatening and offering players who a susceptible. No, this is being done by those at the top, the Presidents, the directors, even some of the players. The former Newcastle midfielder Emre Belözoğlu has been questioned by the police in his role, being later released. Overall, twelve members of staff for Fenerbahçe have been arrested, and all of the trouble has seen them kicked out of the Champions League group stages by the Turkish FA.
Ultimately, UEFA opted to go for the second best option to replace them, even with talk of Arsenal, FC Copenhagen and even Liverpool, the most logical choice is to remain in the country, therefore allowing Trabzonspor their first Champions League appearance.
Logical, if Trabzonspor weren’t also one of the sixteen involved in match fixing.
I am aware it isn’t to the same scale of Fenerbahçe, but they are still involved and should be suitably punished. They caused a certain amount of games to go a certain way, changing the outcome of the match away from the natural progression of it all. They shouldn’t be given the privilege of competing in the biggest European club competition.
Logically then, it should be given to Bursaspor, a team not involved in the match fixing scandal, and a team who finished third in the Super Lig.
Once again it shows total ineptness when it comes to serious issues from the governing body. The fact that a number of clubs were banded around saying they had every right to be involved and replace Fenerbahçe shows that no one really knows what is going on in terms of the rules and regulations. Nothing makes sense anymore. And not even the right decision was made, and it is hardly the first time that has happened.