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Turkish soccer clubs cleared in scandal

Monday - 5/7/2012, 3:55am  ET

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's soccer federation has cleared all 16 Turkish teams, including Fenerbahce, of involvement in an alleged match-fixing scandal, but it also banned two players for several years and imposed disciplinary measures on eight players or club officials.

"There is no reason for punishment since the elements of the alleged disciplinary violation have not materialized," said the federation in a statement late Sunday that explained its decision about the clubs, including Fenerbahce which was barred from this season's Champions League as a result of the investigation.

The announcement came a week after the federation said an independent soccer ethics committee looking into the match-fixing allegations concluded there was no evidence that alleged attempts to fix games had altered the course of the matches.

A total of 93 officials, players and coaches, including the president of reigning champion Fenerbahce, are on trial, accused of helping fix matches last season. The federation's decision could affect the course of the trial, which was relying in part on the federation's guidance.

The federation banned striker Ibrahim Akin of Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi for three years for allegedly fixing the result of a game when his team lost to Fenerbahce 2-0 on May 1, 2011. It also banned Serdar Kulbilge of Genclerbirligi for two years for allegedly attempting to fix the result of a game that Fenerbahce won 4-2.

It said eight other people _ including Fenerbahce officials Mehmet Sekip Mosturoglu, Ilhan Yuksel Eksioglu, and Cemil Turhan _ were slapped with a disciplinary measure called "deprivation of rights." That amounts to barring a person from any administrative or sports activities, including entering the stadiums.

However, that disciplinary measure can be postponed.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)