Turkey to deduct points for attempted match-fixing
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's soccer federation, under pressure to take disciplinary action against teams implicated in a match-fixing scandal, said Monday it is introducing a system of point deductions for clubs that have "attempted" to rig games.
The federation head, Yildirim Demiroren, also said its disciplinary committee would decide within days on possible action against teams involved in 22 games tainted by the allegations.
A total of 93 officials, players and coaches, including the president of reigning champion Fenerbahce, are on trial, accused of helping fix matches last season.
Fenerbahce was barred from this season's Champions League as a result of the investigation, but the federation has so far struggled to take any other action against teams implicated in the scandal. Fenerbahce and other teams have denied any wrongdoing.
Demiroren said an independent soccer ethics committee looking into the match-fixing allegations concluded last week there is no evidence that alleged attempts to fix games had altered the course of the matches.
He said the current rules, which punish match-fixing with relegation, were too harsh for attempts to rig games. Teams implicated in attempts to fix games will face a minimum deduction of 12 points, he said.
"Our aim is to make disproportionate sanctions more proportionate," Demiroren said. "Match-fixing and incentive payments are being sanctioned severely. (But) attempts at match-fixing were not reflected on the field."
Demiroren did not name the clubs facing possible sanctions by the disciplinary committee.
But the Hurriyet newspaper and other news organizations said 16 of the 18 top flight teams have been referred to the committee, including Galatasaray, which was not implicated in the criminal investigation.
Gianni Infantino, general secretary of the Union of European Football Associations, said last month in Istanbul that the governing body would intervene if the Turkish federation's disciplinary body fails to take any action before a June 1 deadline to register clubs for European competitions.
UEFA could suspend all Turkish clubs from its competitions if the teams are not sanctioned.