ANTALYA: The Turkish football federation has given its disciplinary committee less than two days in which to decide whether Fenerbahce and 15 other clubs – including Besiktas, Trabzonspor and Galatasaray – should be charged with matchfixing last season writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The latest act in the scandal casting a long shadow over the country’s sport was confirmed by TFF president Yıldırım Demirören at a press conference in the southern resort of Antalya.

Currently 93 defendants, including leading officials and players, are being tried in a case being undertaken amid extraordinary conditions of secrecy.

The TFF’s Ethics Committee reported to the main board last Thursday on its own inquiry into matchfixing allegations which prompted European federation UEFA, last summer, to instruct it to bar Fenerbahce from the Champions League.

Fenerbahce’s millionaire president Aziz Yildirim is one of the defendants in the court case, having been held in custody since his arrest last July.

Demiroren, a former president of Besiktas, said the federation has decided to refer 16 clubs to the Professional Football Discipline Committee (PFDK) in relation to 22 league matches last year. He also said that disciplinary regulations had been amended to allow for a points deduction as a possible penalty rather than only relegation.

for match-rigging as opposed to the previous version of the article, which only allowed for the relegation of a team involved in match-fixing cases.

A parliamentary directive to this effect earlier this spring had been rejected by a clubs’ council.

Fenerbahce recently withdrew an appeal and compensation demand against the TFF and UEFA from the Court of Arbitration for Sport amid speculation that a compensation deal had been agreed with the TFF. Demirören denied this.

He made no comment on suggestions that a plea-bargaining deal with Fenerbahce had included a commitment by the 18-times record champions not to apply to play in European competition for two further years.

Trabzonspor and Galatasaray have called extraordinary meetings to decide on whether to fight the disciplinary referrals.

UEFA will be severly embarrassed for rushing to enforced judgment last year if the disciplinary committee decides there is in insufficient evidence to bring charges.

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