ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkish police detained the president of Trabzonspor and the former head of the Turkish Football Federation on Monday for questioning in a growing probe into alleged match fixing.
Trabzonspor president Sadri Sener was detained a day after a court charged and jailed the president of Fenerbahce, Aziz Yildirim, pending trial. Fenerbahce won the title this year narrowly from Trabzonspor.
Police also detained Mahmut Ozgener, former head of the TFF and ex-federation official Levent Kizil along with former Ankaragucu official Mumtaz Karakaya and Ankaragucu goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge.
The raids came as the federation considers what, if any, measures it will take against Fenerbahce. The decision must come by Friday; the deadline for notifying UEFA which teams will play in European competitions. Potential sanctions include stripping the club of its title and relegating it to the second division.
Federation officials were expected to consult club presidents about the issue later Monday.
Yildirim has been jailed pending trial along with 25 other suspects, including two other Fenerbahce executives, who are acused of manipulating the outcome of games last season.
In Turkey, investigators obtained evidence of cheating and bribery involving 19 first- and second-division games, the police said.
Fenerbahce won 16 of 17 league matches in the latter part of the season to come from a distant third place and beat Trabzonspor to a record 18th title on goal difference.
Fenerbahce risks losing its league title in the same manner as Italian club Juventus, which was stripped of its 2005 and 2006 Serie A championships over a similar scandal.
Shares in Fenerbahce have dropped by more than 35 percent on the stock market since the news of the scandal surfaced a week ago, while Trabzonspor shares have climbed by 11 percent amid hopes it might be given the league title.
Shares in two other top Istanbul clubs, Besiktas and Galatasaray, also dropped as the scandal struck the Turkish football business.
The government has promised to be tough on match-fixing, introducing legislation three months ago to confront hooliganism and cheating in football which included a maximum 12-year prison sentence for fixing games.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Fenerbahce fans, who clashed with police on Sunday, to behave and to respect court decisions.