Turkish Teams in Match-Fix Probe Can Play in Europe, UEFA Says

Turkish soccer teams under investigation over alleged match-fixing can compete in European tournaments pending the results of the probe.

The clubs that qualified for UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League provided written guarantees that they haven’t been involved in rigging games, the European soccer body said yesterday in a statement on its website.

Turkish authorities are providing information to UEFA, and the special prosecutor Mehmet Berk’s investigation hasn’t produced anything that would bar five teams including league champion Fenerbahce and cup winner Besiktas from competing in the new season, according to the statement.

Istanbul police said last week that they have evidence of attempts to illegally influence the outcome of 19 matches as the probe widened with the number of coaches, footballers, executives and officials that are in detention exceeding 50 people.

“A decision to exclude a club from a competition, or from any future European competitions for a number of years, can be made at any time if it transpires that the club in question obtained qualification via manipulated or fixed matches,” UEFA said. The association said it’s monitoring developments “daily.”

The Turkish Football Federation has until July 15 to submit the list of teams that will compete in Europe to UEFA.

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