Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sporting Justice and a Man Who Lives in Giresun

Turkish football is in disarray after a number of arrests for match fixing at the highest levels, based on an investigation that began with an email from "a man who lives in Giresun":
Police were reportedly investigating alleged match-fixing in the Spor Toto Super League, which ended in May with Fenerbahçe's victory, and Bank Asya League 1. UEFA Secretary-General Gianni Infantino has stated that the union is "following developments related to the match-fixing investigation with concern." He said that UEFA had not been informed about the full details of the investigation, but believes that the claims are very serious, as officials from football clubs and footballers have been taken into custody.

“We are following the developments with concern. We will evaluate the situation once we discuss the issue with authorities from the TFF,” he noted.

The European Commission also stated that it will continue to follow the investigation into match-fixing allegations closely. The commission said it holds an “open position” about efforts Turkey should make in its fight against corruption.

Fenerbahçe may be stripped of its championship title and relegated from the Spor Toto Super League (first division) to Bank Asya League 1 (second division) in accordance with the Law on Prevention of Violence and Disorder in Sports Events, sources have claimed. Sivasspor and Eskişehirspor may be punished accordingly.
UEFA's comments via a statement yesterday reflect the governance vacuum that characterizes international football:
Given the information received so far by UEFA there is nothing according to the UEFA statutes or regulations that leads UEFA to refuse entry to any of the clubs currently involved in the investigations in Turkey.

In addition, every club participating in UEFA competition has provided UEFA with a written guarantee that they have not been involved in match-fixing activities.

UEFA requests the Turkish state authorities to pass on any relevant information regarding the ongoing investigations to the TFF as soon as possible, in order that sporting justice can be carried out in the most judicious manner.
I'm not sure what "sporting justice" is, but it sounds like the punishment meted out in the FIFA "family" or in other words, in a system of governance that is expected to somehow lie outside normal regimes of governance. Such a stance is not sustainable. If football does not get its house in order, governments will step in.


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