The Turkish prime minister called for a swift conclusion to a thorough investigation into an alleged match-fixing scam involving league champion Fenerbahce.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is a huge fan of Fenerbahce, was able to set aside his support of the team amid the allegations. “I am not only a Fenerbahce fan, I am a member of its congress,” Erdogan said. “[But] if there was abuse or wrongdoing, this has to be brought to light in a fair manner.”
The Turkish police raided homes and club premises which resulted in some 60 people suspected of manipulating games in the Turkish league last season.
The Turkish police chief’s office said that investigators obtained evidence of cheating and bribery in 19 first and second-division games.
Police had also seized eight unlicensed guns during the sweep and had evidence that some players were threatened into forfeiting money owed to them, the statement said.
Those detained this week include several clubs’ officials and players as well as the president of Fenerbahce, whom newspaper reports say is suspected of bribing rival teams’ players to play badly.
The Turkish soccer federation has to decide on what measures, if any, it will take against Fenerbahce before July 15 because that is the deadline by which it must inform UEFA of teams participating in European competitions.