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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 25, 2011

Scandal halts Turkish league

Turkey's football federation have delayed the start of the new season by a month amid a massive match-fixing investigation, Anatolia news agency reports.

Federation president Mehmet Ali Aydinlar says matches in the super league will kick off on September 9, and a day later in the second division.

Some 30 people have been charged and jailed pending trial this month as part of a probe into match-fixing and bribery in Turkey's first and second divisions.

The president of reigning champions Fenerbahce, Aziz Yildirim, is the most prominent among the incarcerated suspects, which include the vice-president and the coach of another Istanbul giant, Besiktas.

The suspects are accused of manipulating 19 games last season, which saw Fenerbahce clinch the title in the last match, outstripping Trabzonspor on goal difference.

The inquiry and arrests have sent shockwaves among fans in football-mad Turkey, amid the prospect of Fenerbahce losing the title.

Earlier this month, Besiktas, the Turkish Cup winners, returned the trophy to the football federation until cleared.

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