Spor Toto Super League runner-up Trabzonspor is appealing Fenerbahçe’s championship on the grounds that match fixing played a part in the İstanbul team winning the league title.
The exchange of text messages between Ankaragücü footballer Kağan Söylemezgiller and Fenerbahçe’s Emre Belözoğlu ahead of the teams’ match in the penultimate week of the league led to allegations of match fixing.
Trabzonspor will take the allegations to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and FIFA, the global football authority, according to a statement the club released on its official website on Monday.
The claims came to public attention after Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Trabzon deputy Kemalettin Göktaş said on a Kanaltürk television show that Emre promised a number of Ankaragücü footballers that he would help them be transferred to Fenerbahçe and asked them not to play against Fenerbahçe. Speaking on the same show, Emre dismissed the accusations and said he did not respect Göktaş’s statements, despite his being a deputy. The messages were later released in the media. “Don’t let my president [Fenerbahçe President Aziz Yıldırım] be angry,” the messages Emre allegedly sent to the Ankaragücü footballer end. The name of the sender appears to be “Emre,” while the messages were sent by Emre’s manager Ahmet Bulut’s business partner, Ekrem Okumuş. The deputy said he would present all the details to a public prosecutor, while Okumuş argues that the incident was a joke.
Ahead of the national team’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Belgium this week, Emre says he is uncomfortable with the ongoing debates. Speaking to an Akşam daily reporter, the footballer said he did not send text messages to Söylemezgiller.
Trabzonspor is also requesting an investigation into Fenerbahçe’s signing of Kardemir Karabükspor’s Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike, who drew criticism for not playing in his team’s match against Fenerbahçe in week 32. Karabükspor goalkeeper Bülent Ataman said after the match, which they lost 0-1 to Fenerbahçe, that Emenike had agreed to sign with Fenerbahçe before the game.