ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Fenerbahce President Aziz Yildirim was charged in an alleged match-fixing scandal on Saturday along with several club officials and players, including former forward Emmanuel Emenike of Nigeria.
League champion Fenerbahce was barred from the Champions League this season because of its involvement in the match-fixing scandal and it could be stripped of its domestic title and face relegation.
Yildirim, who has denied any wrongdoing, could be sentenced to a total of 114 years in prison if convicted on charges of establishing a crime-ring, swindling, and match-fixing, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.
Yildirim and 30 others, including former Giresunspor president Olgun Peker, remain in jail and it was not clear when they will go on trial in connection with the scandal involving 19 allegedly fixed games last season.
A total of 93 people have been charged. Prosecutors said the investigation was focusing on officials of eight clubs, including two other top clubs — Trabzonspor and Besiktas.
Emenike, who was detained and then released without charge in July, was charged along with 13 other players over alleged match-fixing attempts, the news agency said. It was not clear what punishment they face if convicted. Emenike left Turkey following his release and signed with Spartak Moscow.
Some details of the 401-page indictment were announced Saturday, a day after President Abdullah Gul vetoed parliamentary amendments that would have reduced prison terms for match-fixing.
Parliament voted for the changes last week, only eight months after it approved sentences of up to 12 years for anyone convicted of fixing games. The changes led to criticism that they were designed to save Yildirim, despite a denial from Sports Minister Suat Kilic.
A statement from Gul's office on Friday said the president vetoed the new reduced term of three years because it gave "the impression of a special arrangement" to save the suspects. It was a rare veto of government-backed legislation by the president.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on Saturday welcomed the president's veto, saying it was in response to the public outrage over the reductions.
Anadolu said the indictment described Peker and Yildirim as the ring leaders in a broad match-fixing scheme.
Prosecutor Fikret Secen said suspects who remain free were barred from attending sports events as spectators. Among them were players from Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Bursaspor and Eskisehirspor.
Fenerbahce went unbeaten through the second half of the season and beat Trabzonspor to the title on goal difference. Officials with Trabzonspor, which replaced Fenerbahce in the Champions League, have also been implicated along with officials or players from several other clubs.
Chris Eaton, security chief of FIFA, said in October that there was mounting evidence that international and club matches are being targeted by gangs who attempt to bribe players and referees.