ISTANBUL: Top Turkish clubs Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş have halted their pursuit of new coaches until after next week’s UEFA disciplinary hearing into match-fixing allegations against both clubs.
European football’s governing body announced last week that the hearings will be undertaken on Thursday and Friday. Fenerbahçe face a possible two-year ban from all European competitions while Beşiktaş risk a one-year ban.
Both clubs are currently managerless. Fenerbahçe parted company with Aykut Kocaman and had been linked with several foreign coaches including Swansea’s Michael Laudrup. However Ersun Yanal and veteran Mustafa Denizli had emerged as likelier targets with Yanal the favourite after just leaving Eskişehirspor.
Beşiktaş need a replacement for Samet Aybaba who resigned last month. They have been linked with Kayserispor’s Robert Prosinecki.
The hearings have not frozen transfer activity, however.
Beşiktaş have signed Turkey attacker Gökhan Töre from Zenit while Fenerbahçe have contracted veteran Portuguese defender Bruno Alves.
The two teams have been battling match-fixing allegations since July 3, 2011, the date that the rigging investigation became public with several detentions.
An Istanbul court found several Fenerbahçe officials, including chairman Aziz Yıldırım, guilty of manipulating some matches of the 2010-11 Super League which the club won ahead of Trabzonspor.
Beşiktaş’s former board member Serdal Adalı and ex-coach Tayfur Havutçu were also found guilty of attempting to manipulate the 2011 cup final against Istanbul BB.
Despite the court decision, the Turkish Football Federation did not punish the teams, saying even though there were attempts of manipulations, those efforts were not reflected on the pitch.