Shares of Istanbul’s three leading soccer clubs rose after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said individuals, and not teams, should be punished amid allegations of match-fixing.
Besiktas Futbol Yatirimlari Sanayi & Ticaret AS gained 1.8 percent to 6.84 liras at the close, its biggest jump in four weeks. Fenerbahce Sportif Hizmetler Sanayi & Ticaret AS jumped 9.8 percent to 52.80 liras to its highest level in seven months. Galatasaray Sportif Sinai & Ticari Yatirimlar AS surged 18 percent to 230 liras, the most in almost four years.
“We have to identify the difference between individuals and legal entities,” Erdogan told a meeting of the European soccer body UEFA in Istanbul. “If a legal entity is punished for the crime of an individual, millions of people would be punished,” he said, referring to fans.
Turkish champion Fenerbahce was banned from the Champions League this season after club president Aziz Yildirim was arrested on charges of fixing games. Executives, coaches, players, journalists and former officials have been jailed as part of a police probe into alleged match-fixing in more than a dozen games last season.