LONDON: Further revelations are emerging in the match-fixing corruption scandals pervading football in both Turkey and Croatia.
In Turkey 93 people – including coaches, players and directors – have been arrested and notified that court proceedings will be launched on February 14.
The latest allegations concern 19 matches in the Turkish Superleague last season including the decisive duel with Sivassport from which Fenerbahce emerged as champions. Fenerbahce, to their fury, were later barred from the UEFA Champions League.
Some 30 accused are being held in custody including the president of Fenerbahce, Aziz Yildirim.
The scandal has deep political connections. The government party, the AKP, and the two main opposition parties (CHP and MHP) are lined up against the state President Abdullah Gul who has vetoed proposals for a reduction of sanctions.
Gul’s justification is that such a move would only encourage further corruption.
In Croatia, two directors of the football federation have been arrested on suspicion of fixing at least one game. They are former referee and federation vice-president Zeljko Siric as well as the president of the referees’ commission, Stjepan Djedovic. Both have been held in custody since Thursday.
Zdravko Mamic, president of Dinamo Zagreb, has said he is “shocked and amazed” by the arrests.
Dinamo were the subject of questions last week after the team lost 7-1 at home to Lyon of France in the UEFA Champions League. UEFA and betting officials have insisted there were no suspicious betting patterns surrounding the game.