Friday, April 06, 2007

Current State of the TFF and Ulusoy

The following article appears in Friday's edition of the Turkish Daily News, written by Ozgur Korkmaz. Please visit to read the article in its entirety.

Haluk Ulusoy under spotlight, again

Friday, April 6, 2007

Turkish Football Federation chief Haluk Ulusoy is being opposed by most Turkcell Super League clubs, more than half of the congress delegates and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but somehow he has been able to stay in office.

The situation in the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) is getting stranger each and every day. TFF chief Haluk Ulusoy has been able to stay in the office until now in spite of all opposition and accusations, but the recent developments sparked a new discussion about his future.

The latest shock for Ulusoy, who is already dealing with a trial that demands the appointment of a trustee to the office, came yesterday from his deputy Kemal Kapulluoğlu. Announcing his resignation yesterday, Kapulluoğlu claimed the reason was personal and he would always support Ulusoy. However, a story in the daily Milliyet asserted the opposite.

The story by Cemal Ersen claimed the resignation was the result of a disagreement between Kapulluoğlu and Ulusoy. Kapulluoğlu was working for Ulusoy since his first term in 1994 and was one of the closest persons to him. His resignation, ahead of the financial congress in June that will set Ulusoy managemet's future, is considered a reaction to recent decisions, especially the interference in Professional Football Disciplinary Commission (PFDK) rulings.

‘Do not punish Fenerbahçe':

According to a story by Atilla Türker in yesterday's Hürriyet daily, PFDK Chairman Talay Şenol called board members before Tuesday's meeting and said, “Mr. Ulusoy sends his regards and he does not want Fenerbahçe to be punished.”

A file about Fenerbahçe was on the commission's agenda regarding the incidents between the Fenerbahçe match during the Bursaspor away game on March 17. Two fans were stabbed and one suffered a broken leg in a brawl between Fenerbahçe fans. The PFDK was expected to force Fenerbahçe to play at least one game behind closed doors, but surprisingly announced after Tuesday's meeting that there was no need to punish or fine the Istanbul club.

Türker in his story claims that long-time enemies Ulusoy and Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım have recently come to an agreement, and in exchange for support in a possible emergency congress, Ulusoy pressured the PFDK not to punish Fenerbahçe.

Nothing done about real problems:

While the football community focuses on TFF related issues, a bigger problem is disregarded. Eight people, including supporter group leaders, were taken into custody last week on charges of violent crimes and using fake ID cards. Among them was Fenerbahçe's “Sefa,” who was blamed for starting the recent “war” between Fenerbahçe supporter groups.

Supporter groups in Turkiye have long been associated with managing the black market for tickets, the manufacture and sale of imitation official club merchandise and football violence, but the TFF management and the Sports Ministry are so fully engaged with election issues that they could never have enough time to focus on the dark side of football.


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