Subject: A Quest for Fairplay!
I’m a football fan living in Turkey. It is not a secret that football in Turkey has been full of match-fixing. Everyone has either heard or read or watched the match-fixing stories. Unfortunately, none of the competent authorities has taken these claims serious and cracked down on them. All of the actors in the competent authorities have pretended as if everything is fine and by the book of the universal football norms, intentionally or willy-nilly. As a result of this “collective” neglect, so many football fans have turned their back to the games, even started to hate the game. You cannot even find a single football fan who thinks that the games are won deservingly in Turkey.
The match-fixing scandal erupted in July 2011 and the following investigation and case gave hope to millions of football-lovers including me as two of the three “untouchables” of football in Turkey were also in the investigation file. Moreover, Fenerbahçe president on the one hand, and Beşiktaş coach and member of board on the other, were taken into custody. We started to follow up the investigation with curiosity and hope.
Although the investigation only covered the last 4 months, the picture was so calamitous that it was proved that we were so right in having second thoughts about the football in Turkey. With a slice of hope, we just started to think that our “self-governing” and “autonomous” football federation will not dare to protect “them” once more, while all the mess was so overt.
But the hopes were destroyed again! Football Federation preferred to throw the ball out of bounds. They chose to play for the time and to sidestep instead of taking necessary actions. Federation did not even make a statement about the mentioned clubs, either positively or negatively. The leagues started perfunctorily despite the chaos.
In the last general assembly of Football Federation, the former president defended himself through rising that no one should have a suspicion on his fanship for Fenerbahçe, and then resigned. Following his resignation, the media was full of primary witnesses who were talking about how the former president spent effort to prevent Fenerbahçe from relegation.
Today, Football Federation has elected the new head of the federation: The former Beşiktaş president, whose coach and an important member of board were judged within the investigation. He was also the one who declared that “We will have an agreement with UEFA. If not, Turkish teams will not participate to the UEFA competitions. It’s not a big deal!”
Our belief in a possible cleanup in football in Turkey is diminishing each day. The recent investigation has shown that “no one can touch the three bigs” is still a valid and right statement in Turkey. There is a mess around that nobody can suppress, but the competent authorities cannot even dare to name it!
The dramatic period of match-fixing investigation has proven that the competent authorities and competent people in Turkey lack the capacity and courage to provide a fair play environment. This is why we, as fairplay seekers, want UEFA to take an active role in this chaos. We believe that UEFA will do its best to bring fairplay to Turkey.
We also declare that we will be attentive followers of the process, both in national and international level.