The most successful side in the history of one European country is the latest team to be implicated in a match fixing scandal. Fenerbahce recently won a record 18th Turkish league title but could even see that stripped from them as the investigations go on. So far, the police have made around 50 arrests in connection with the scandal, according to Bloomberg. One of those detained was the highest-ranking person in the entire club, chairman Aziz Yildrim.
Taking place across 12 cities, the raids relate to games fixed during last year’s competition and may involve the final league game of the season – Fener’s 4-3 victory over Sivasspor. Huseyin Celik, deputy chairman of the ruling AK Party, said, “If even 5 percent of these allegations prove right, it’s very grave for Turkish sports. I hope that all this will result in a cleansing.”
As far as the club are concerned, a statement on their website read, “Everyone should know that Fenerbahce Sports Club has never been and will never be engaged in any unlawful and illegal activity. We are proud of our clean and victorious past.”
Match fixing has been coming to the fore a lot more since Interpol teamed up with FIFA to battle the problem. Part of the dilemma is that it’s only considered illegal in certain countries. This in itself presents a number of challenges as the cooperation differs from country to country. Back to Turkey and If Fenerbahce loses its league title, it will be the highest profile scandal since Calciopoli in Italy in 2006.