Turkish Football News

Fenerbahce’s Yildirim to seek re-election

Fenerbahce's current chairman Aziz Yildirim to run for re-election

Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim has announced his bid on Friday to be the head of the Istanbul club once again.

Fenerbahce’s controversial chairman Aziz Yildirim announced his candidacy for the upcoming June 3 election in a news conference in Istanbul.  He said that he is “much more thrilled than he felt 20 years ago” when he was first elected as Fenerbahce president in 1998.

The 65-year-old chairman’s main opponent will be businessman Ali Koc.

Born in 1967 in Istanbul, Ali Koc is a well-known Turkish businessman, who has held the vice presidency of the executive board of Koc Holding, a prominent Turkish conglomerate, since February 2016.

During the Yildirim era, Fenerbahce has enlarged and modernized its stadium, Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Stadium — also known as Ulker Stadium for sponsorship reasons.

The renovation of the stadium, which boasts a 50,530-seat capacity, was completed in April 2006.

The stadium hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final, the last under that name. It was rebranded as UEFA Europa League.

In more than 100 years of existence, Fenerbahce has won 19 Turkish Super Lig titles, six of which came during the Yildirim era.

Fenerbahce’s men’s basketball team was crowned Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions in May 2017 to become the first ever Turkish club to lift that trophy.

However, Yildirim’s stint as club chairman was marred by a match fixing scandal which led to the club’s suspension from the European tournaments. European football’s governing body UEFA barred Fenerbahce from European tournaments for two seasons as a result of its investigation in 2013.

Turkey’s match fixing scandal broke out after the 2010-11 season of the Spor Toto Super Lig, which saw Fenerbahce win the title.

Several important football figures — chairmen, players and board members — were taken into custody over match fixing and bribery after a legal action was launched in July 2011.

That month, Yildirim was jailed for forming an illegal organization and his involvement in match fixing in Turkish football’s top division. He was sentenced to six years and three months, of which he served a year.

In June 2014, Aziz Yildirim’s jail term was suspended and a retrial was ordered. Yildirim was acquitted of all charges by an Istanbul court on Oct. 9, 2015.

Source: AnadoluAgency