In particular, the case examined is considered one of the biggest scandals in Turkish football, involving 93 prominent figures of the sport. Following the investigation of the Turkish police during the 2010/11 season, 31 of these individuals were imprisoned, due to their fixing related activities, initiating a number of legal battles. Rather than fixing for financial gains through betting, which has been a dominant theme of academic work in the field (Hill 2009, 2010; Manoli and Antonopoulos 2015), the case offers an appropriate context to examine match-fixing for sporting success.
(Fajon and Bozkurt, 2012 cited in Feltes 2013: 25). In addition, it was suggested during the hearings of the committee that “strong ties exist between the football establishment and criminal organizations especially in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. …Criminals have infiltrated in the clubs and federations and are operating from within, while using the clubs as covers for a multitude of criminal activities” (Fajon and Bozkurt, 2012 cited in Feltes 2013: 25). However, and despite the attention match-fixing cases have attracted, academic research on the matter is still in its infancy.
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Since playing for the Club is highly desirable to many players in Turkey, it was used as leverage in the process of fixing. The promise of a transfer or the expression of interest by the Club was communicated to some of these important players in opposition teams or to their representatives, in order to manipulate the players’ phychological state. What is important to note is that the transfer promise was made right before a match, in order for the overall strategy of manimulating the phychological state of the players to work. For example, before the games against Eskişehirspor on April 9th 2011 and Karabükspor on May 9th 2011, the lawyer who worked for Fenerbahçe approached the player of Eskişehirspor and the representative of the player of Karabükspor to discuss their potential transfer to Fenerbahçe (Indictment No: 2011/598 pp. 271 and 323–325 and Judgment No: 2012/71, p.
Neither the President nor the Vice-Presidents ever made any direct payments. The amounts of the payouts varied, sometimes significantly. For instance, for the match against IBB on May 1st 2011, the player of the opposition was offered and paid €100, 000 (Indictment No: 2011/598 p. 303, Judgment No: 2012/71, pp. 79–80). US$400, 000 was on offer for the Ankaragücü match and money was distributed to the two sub-groups that were working on the fixing of the game. Eventually, only US$200, 000 was paid to the individuals who agreed to participate in match-fixing activities, and the remaining US$200, 000 was returned (Indictment No: 2011/598 p. 337, Judgment No: 2012/71, pp.
74 and 81). Although the attempt did not work with the player of Eskişehirspor, it was effective with the striker of Karabükspor, who refused to play against Fenerbahçe blaiming his injury sustained in the match a week before. Footnote 3The overall match-fixing process has some particular characteristics that are worth highlighting (Indictment No: 2011/598 pp. 186–191, Judgment No: 2012/71, pp. 57–62).
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Data and methodsThe article is based on a variety of sources of data of a similar nature. Firstly, an analysis of the official legal files of four criminal and seven disciplinary proceedings was conducted. In more detail, our analysis focused on the Indictment of the Public Prosecutor of Istanbul (No. 2011/598), the proceedings before the Istanbul 16th High Criminal Court (No. 2012/71), the appeal proceedings before the Turkish Supreme Court (5th Criminal Division – No. 2014/516), the re-trial before the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court (State Court – No. 2015/212), the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF – No. 111), the two disciplinary proceedings by UEFA (2013a, b) and the four arbitration proceedings before the CAS (CAS - 2013a/A/3256, 2013b/A/3258, 2015a/A/4345 and 2015b/A/4347).
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83–84). Both the €100, 000 that went to the striker of IBB and the US$100, 000 used for the Ankaragücü match were subsequently secured by the Turkish Police (Indictment No: 2011/598 p. 306 & 340, Judgment No: 2012/71, p. 79 & p. 84). For the Sivasspor match, on the other hand, 400, 000 Turkish Lira was offered and paid to the club (Indictment No: 2011/598 p. 372 Judgment No: 2012/71, p. 87). All payments had been made in neutral locations. Case peculiaritiesOne of the most peculiar and interesting aspects of the football match-fixing process in Turkey was the transfer promise made to some of the players of opposing teams as an incentive to participate in the fixing. This previously undocumented activity can be described as ‘fixing through the promise of transfer’ and it was based upon the exploitation of the position of Fenerbahçe as a club at the apex of Turkish football.
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In both categories of matches, the existence of a high unpredictability of the result and the subsequent effect its outcome would have on the final ranking of the league table were the main criteria for the selection of particular matches to manipulate. At this initial meeting, an agreement would be reached on the plan of action to follow in order for the desired results to be achieved, which actors of the ‘organisation’ to involve in the process of fixing the games, and who to initially approach in the opposion team. Determining the selection of particular actors for the match-fixing process mostly depended upon the actors’ ability and the extent of their network to enable the set-up of the fixing, in particular accessing the individuals of the opposition and carrying out the negotiations.
Table 1 The list of games that were the subject of match-fixing activities during the 2010/2011 season in Turkish footballThe criminal indictment presented by the Turkish public prosecutor (Indictment No: 2011/598) accused the suspects of two distinctive criminal offences that are established under different legislations. First, the public prosecutor alleged that there were activities that involved both match-fixing (‘şike’ in Turkish) and the payment of incentive bonuses (‘teşvik primi’ in Turkish), which are criminal offences related to the manipulation of the results of the matches under section 11 of Legislation 6222 on Prevention of Violence and Disorder in Sport, which came into force on April 14th 2011. Second, certain suspects were also alleged to be involved in the formation and activities of ‘criminal organisations’, defined as an offence under Section 220 of the Turkish Penal Code.
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g. FIFA, see Jennings 2016) and cases of match-fixing in specific national contexts (e. Italy, see Di Ronco and Lavorgna 2015; Greece, see Manoli and Antonopoulos 2015; Manoli et al. 2017; the Netherlands, see Spapens and Olfers 2015; Poland, Portugal and Brazil, see European Commission 2012; Germany, see Feltes 2013; Haberfeld and Sheehan 2013) surfacing over and over again. While, as recent scandals have demonstrated, corruption in sport can take many forms, match-fixing in football tends to attract the attention of both media and high profile individuals such as Ralf Mutschke, FIFA’s head of security, who suggested that organised crime structures “recently switched from drug trafficking to match-fixing” (Mutschke 2013: ix-x).
Therefore, considering the convictions, although all actors of the ‘organisation’ were charged with the offence of organised crime under section 220 of the Turkish Penal Code, their convictions for the offences of match-fixing and incentive payments under Legislation 6222 were not related to all 13 games, but only to those games where their direct involvement in conducting activities of fixing or attempting the fix was proven. Setting up & gaining accessFollowing the initial meeting, the second step of the process involved communicating the plan of action to fix a particular game and the level of payments to be offered in return to the selected actors for each match.
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