Ankaraspor relegated to Bank Asya League 1 by discipline committee

Ahmet Gökçek

September 17, 2009, Thursday/ 15:01:00
Turkcell Super League side Ankaraspor has been demoted to the Bank Asya League 1 (second division league), the Turkish Soccer Federation (TFF) announced on Tuesday.The federation's Professional Soccer Disciplinary Committee (PFDK) said in a statement that Ankaraspor, henceforward, has been barred from playing in the Super League because its “enigmatic” dealings with Ankaragücü -- another Ankara Super League club.

“The Professional Soccer Disciplinary Committee decided to relegate Ankaraspor by one division over its relationship with Ankaragücü ... ruling that it was contrary to sporting competitiveness,” the PFDK ruling said. The ruling also said their dealings had jeopardized the sportsmanlike spirit of honorable competition and also damaged trust in soccer and league competitions in the country. The federation canceled Saturday's match between Kayserispor and Ankaraspor and referred Ankaraspor to the PFDK. The dealings between Ankaraspor and Ankaragücü came under the spotlight after Ahmet Gökçek, son of Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, who was an Ankaraspor executive, quit his position at Ankaraspor and was elected chairman of Ankaragücü. The elder Gökçek was the honorary chairman of Ankaraspor.

The chairmen of Ankaraspor and Ankaragücü, Ruhi Kurnaz and Ahmet Gökçek, respectively, were suspended from their duties for six months. Ankaragücü was not relegated, but the club's board members were suspended for three months.

The elder Gökçek vehemently objected to the PFDK's ruling and said he will fight the ruling in the court of law and will also take the case to world soccer's governing body, FIFA. Ankaraspor and Ankaragücü were 14th and 15th, respectively, in the Turkcell Super League before Tuesday's ruling. What the federation will do with the league fixtures after the relegation of Ankaraspor remains unclear.

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