Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Murky goings on at Genclerbirligi

I din't see this until today but in yesterday's Miliyet was a story that is quite shocking - if true.

As part of a German investigation into match-fixing around the world one of the matches alleged to have been thrown was the May 3, 2009, Istanbul BBS v Gencler match. According to a report in today's Today's Zaman (it was in Turkish papers on Tuesday but I failed to see it - naughty me). Gencler threw the match in order to help Istanbul BBS avoid relegation. There was some sort of deal between the management of both clubs and Gencler keeper Recep Ozturk earnt quite a bit of money out of the deal. Here's as excerpt from the Zaman piece:

Fraudulent bets on this game were placed through an Asian bookie. Individuals who bet on the game learned what the score would be before the match began from the İstanbul team’s goalkeeper, Kenan Hasagiç, and another bettor verified this information, saying he obtained the information from Gençlerbirliği goalkeeper Recep Öztürk. According to one bettor, a verbal agreement was reached before the game by the presidents of the two teams as to the score in order to ensure that the İstanbul team would not drop from the Super League to a lower league. İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor goalkeeper Öztürk bet on the match, against league regulations, and made more than 30,000 euros as a result.

As we all know this (if true) could have become one of the most stupid deals in history as Gencler only survived the drop last year thanks to some bizarre mathematics at the end of the season.

I'm not making any comment on the matter. But you can check out the three goals that Istanbul BBS scored in the second half. If you can't see youtube because you are in Turkey, I guess it is time to learn how to get around the bans... after all, the PM does

Gencler Chairman Ilhan Cavcav has meanwhile denied the reports saying he has never been involved in match fixing and in any case Genclerbirligi were in such a dangerous position at the time that an accusation that they threw a match was ridiculous. He also made a defence of Recep which actually might actually add oil to the flames.

"Keeper Recep is our son-in-law (damat). He's married to the daughter of a close friend of mine."




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  2. Oh dear, shock horror ! Can we believe that a squeakie clean team like Gencler would stoop so low ??! No !!!

    Looking forward to more details from Webmaster Oz Kanka on this 'murky' story !

  3. Brilliant blog. I follow it regularly to keep up with all thing on Turkish football. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

    One point about fixing in general. It is really difficult to know when players are fixing. I once interviewed a player who played in fixed matches in Serie A. He said, 'I hate fixing. You know why? I am a football player, not an actor.' The players to carry it off successfully have to spend a lot of time, pretending to be trying hard.

    Declan Hill
    author of 'The Fix: soccer and organized crime'