Fenerbahce chairman jailed in match fixing probe

ISTANBUL, (Reuters) – An Istanbul court jailed the  chairman of league champions Fenerbahce yesterday pending trial  on charges of match-fixing, in an investigation which could  result in the club being stripped of their title.

Chairman Aziz Yildirim joined 25 people, including three  fellow members of the Fenerbahce board, already remanded in  custody after police raids a week ago, prompted by evidence of  manipulation in 19 matches.

Scuffles broke out outside the courthouse in the Besiktas  neighbourhood as police held back angry Fenerbahce supporters.

Across the Bosphorus strait, on the Asian side of the city  angry protests erupted among hundreds more supporters in streets  near the Fenerbahce stadium. The club won the league for a  record 18th time last season.

Yildirim had been taken for medical treatment after  prosecutors called for him to be jailed on Friday, but his  questioning was completed yesterday, when the court ordered him  to be jailed and he was taken to the city’s Metris prison.
Police detained 61 people last weekend in raids prompted by  evidence of match-fixing, but 35 of them were subsequently  released. It is unclear if any of them could still face charges.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, a Fenerbahce fan and member  of its congress, has said the scandal has stained the country’s  image and called for a quick and just outcome to the  investigations.

Preparations for the start of the new season, just one month  away, have been left in chaos. European soccer’s governing body  UEFA has set a deadline of July 15 for confirmation of the team  taking part in the third Champions League qualifying round.

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