Spor Toto Super League standings

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ankaraspor gets demoted.

(Note: I had originally published this when it originally happened. I wanted to get the full scope of it. There is an addendum at the bottom of the original article in italics)

The big news of the week in the Turkcell Super League is the demotion of Ankaraspor from the Super League to the Bank Asya 1st League. The shocking news was first reported on Tuesday September 15. The match that Ankaraspor was supposed to play against Kayserispor was postponed while the investigation was taking place.

This situation came to a head when Ahmet Gokcek was elected the chairman of Ankaragucu. Gokcek is the son of the mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, who is also the honorary chairman of Ankaraspor. Rumors were spread that the two clubs were going to merge. The Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK) then decided to act by relegating Ankaraspor because that this situation "was contrary to sporting competitiveness". Other punishments handed out by the PFDK included suspending the chairmen of both clubs in question for six months. Ankaragucu would not be dropped from the Super League, but their board of directors will also be suspended for three months.

Melih Gokcek, as would be expected, was not happy about the situation. His response to the ruling would be that he would file an appeal. He also said that the PFDK should fix its own problems. Also, he has threatened to take his case to the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) and FIFA.

The resulting aftermath in regards to the league is as follows. Kayserispor, who would have been Ankaraspor's opponent in week 5, will be awarded the three points and a victory by default. Three other previous opponents, Antalyaspor, Gaziantepspor, and Genclerbirligi, will also be awarded three points and wins over Ankaraspor. The league will continue from hereon after with 17 teams and will play 32 rounds.

Ankaraspor would receive even more bad news as the TFF arbitration committee declared the club could not appeal to FIFA and the CAS. FIFA has said that the situation has to be handled internally within the TFF. The CAS would declare that since this doesn't concern foreign elements in sport and domestic matters are handled domestically.

The Ankaraspor saga may not be over just yet. On September 30, the TFF Arbitration committee will have a meeting to look into the situation concerning Ankaraspor, and their forced demotion by the Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PDFK). On that day, the PDFK will defend its position on the matter, while Ankaraspor will make the argument that it should stay in the Turkcell Super League. After that, it will be up to the Arbitration board to decide Ankaraspor's fate. Ankaraspor is not scheduled to play this weekend due to its punishment. But after September 30th, depending on the Arbitration committee's decision, Ankaraspor may be able to continue play in the Turkcell Super League after all. Whatever happens, this controversy has been gaining steam, and the end result should be interesting.

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