PtG Article 21.05.2012

Jailed Fenerbahce chairman re-elected

Fenerbache chairman Aziz Yildirim was re-elected to the top post on Sunday, even though he is currently jailed in connection with a match-fixing scandal.

Yildirim, one of the most prominent names in the group of more than 90 defendants arrested and charged with match-fixing in the Turkish football league, is currently awaiting the verdict in his trial.

Yildirim faces six serious charges of fraud, four charges of match-fixing and three charges of bribing the opposing team. Prosecutors have also accused Yildirim of establishing and running a criminal organisation to generate illegal profits, writes World Bulletin. 

Yildirim will be at the helm of Fenerbahce for three more years after he won the election unopposed, receiving all but two of the 5,271 votes cast, the club said in a statement. 

"I believe that I will be able to thank you in person for the infinite faith you have shown me and the rest of the management," Yildirim said in an acceptance note posted to the Fenerbahce website.

According to Yildirim, his trial is politically motivated on the part of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government, writes Sports Illustrated. The match-fixing scandal has hurt the Turkish soccer league and UEFA has barred Fenerbahce from the Champions League this year because of the club’s alleged involvement. 

Sources: Sports Illustrated (Reuters), World Bulletin