Turkey acquits all defendants in 2011 match-fixing case

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey acquitted all the defendants in its four-year long match-fixing case, including Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim, after UEFA had banned the club for two seasons from all European competitions.

In June this year, the Istanbul court ordered a retrial of several convicted suspects, including Yildirim, in the July 2011 match-fixing case, which shook Turkish football to the core.

Yildirim was first sentenced to jail in 2012 and fined 1.3 million Turkish Liras ($560,000) for forming a criminal gang and match-fixing during the 2010-2011 season. He served around one year in prison before being freed pending a retrial.

Fenerbahce and Besiktas were banned for two and one seasons consecutively from European competition by UEFA.

The court agreed to retry the suspects on the charges of being a member of a criminal organisation, but it rejected Yıldırım’s demand for a retrial on the grounds that the investigation was part of a plot against the convicted suspects.

Writing by Ece Toksabay, editing by Mike Collett