ISTANBUL: A remarkable attack on the state of football governance in Turkey has beebn  published by mass circulation daily paper Hurriyet – just as the federation expects to take a step closer to a possible hosting of Euro 2020 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

In the wake of the matchfixing scandal which has cast a long shadow over both the football bid and Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic campaign, the paper demanded a “house-cleaning” of the Turkish federation.

Galatasaray’s title win at the expense of Fenerbahce at the weekend – on the Asian side of Istanbul – had prompted widespread fan/hooligan violence.

Hurriyet noted: “Football has never been just football: Money and politics have always been part of it. Football in Turkey has always been a part of the power game in Turkey as well up until the arrest of its chairman Aziz Yıldırım in June 2011, Fenerbahçe used to be known as ‘the Republic of Fenerbahçe’ . . . Being the chairman of Fener used to bring with it something more powerful than parliamentary immunity.

“For a country that wants to host the 2020 European Football Championship, what is happening here? The TFF seems to be in a deadlock, and has no credibility in the eyes of the people after a series of steps taken seemingly with no foresight.

“The mood in Turkey right now supports clean politics, a clean judicial system, clean finance and clean governance. Football, as an institution that influences millions, cannot remain untouched.

“What has been done before now has been like sweeping dirt under the rug, when Turkish football needs a real housecleaning in order to move on with integrity.”

= = = =