UEFA charges Fenerbahce, officials in fixing case

UEFA charges Champions League contender Fenerbahce, 5 club officials in match-fixing case

Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) -- Fenerbahce faces a second expulsion from the Champions League within three seasons after the Turkish team and five of its officials were charged by European soccer's governing body in a match-fixing case.

The Union of European Football Associations said Monday it will hold a disciplinary hearing on June 22, and verdicts are expected the following week.

Fenerbahce identified the five as club president Aziz Yildirim, plus Alaeddin Yildirim, Sekip Mosturoglu, Ilhan Yuksel Eskioglu and Cemil Turhan.

Yildirim was convicted last July in a criminal trial that resulted in 93 people charged in a case sparked by the Istanbul club's league-winning run in 2011.

Fenerbahce officials deny wrongdoing and have appealed to a higher court, while the club on Monday claimed shortcomings in the criminal case.

"Neither during the investigation nor during the prosecution was there a match-fixing trial that was in line with sports laws," it said in a statement.

UEFA banned Fenerbahce from the 2011-12 Champions League after the initial fixing allegations were made. Further action was likely when its lawyers finished studying the criminal verdicts. UEFA rules bar clubs from its competitions for one season if they are connected to fixing matches played since April 2007.

UEFA opened a separate case Monday involving Romanian champion Steaua Bucharest, the 1986 European Cup winner, which will be heard June 21.

Club president Gigi Becali was convicted last month of attempting to pay bribes to influence a team to beat one of Steaua's title rivals in 2008.

UEFA also started proceedings Monday against Beziktas, which earned a Europa League berth by finishing third in the league last month, faces a June 21 hearing to answer fixing charges relating to the 2011 Turkish Cup final, when it beat rival Istanbul BB on penalty kicks.

The governing body did not identify two Beziktas officials who have also been charged.

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