Turkey match-fixing: Fenerbahce boss Yildirim guilty

Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim outside the court in Istanbul (2 July) Speaking outside the court, Mr Yildirim said he would appeal against the verdict

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The president of one of Turkey's leading football clubs, Fenerbahce, has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for match-fixing.

Aziz Yildirim was convicted of fixing six matches and offering payments to players or club officials.

He and his 92 co-defendants - including club officials, coaches and players - all denied the charges.

European football body Uefa has spent millions to monitor betting and investigate match-fixing allegations.

In the past year, match-fixing scandals have tarnished football leagues in Italy, Ireland and Finland.

The court ordered Mr Yildirim's immediate release as he had already spent a year in jail.

He was also fined 1.3 million lira ($720,000; £460,000) and banned from club management and watching matches.

Several other officials were also found guilty.

The ruling came a year after police rounded up dozens of suspects implicated in the scandal.

Mr Yildirim and the others convicted are expected to appeal against the verdicts.

Uefa barred Fenerbahce from last season's Champions' League as a result of the investigation.

However, it said last week that Fenerbahce would be eligible to participate in next season's competition, pending a final decision by the Uefa disciplinary board.

In May, the Turkish football federation cleared Fenerbahce and 15 other Turkish teams of involvement in match-fixing but banned two players.

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