Fenerbahce and Besiktas charged with match fixing

Leave a comment

Turkish football took another tough hit on Monday as Fenerbahce and Besiktas were charged by UEFA in a match-fixing case stemming from the 2011 Turkish Cup final.

UEFA will hold a disciplinary hearing on June 22nd to hear arguments from the clubs and the officials who have been charged. Verdicts are expected the following week.

Fenerbahce released a statement confirming the investigation and disclosing the the names of the five club officials:

Club president Aziz Yıldırım and board members Alaeddin Yıldırım, Mehmet Şekip Mosturoğlu, İlhan Yüksel Ekşioğlu and Cemil Turhan are under investigation by UEFA.

UEFA is calling for the club officials being investigated to be given a lifetime ban from footballing activities if convicted.

The club is being accused of influencing the results of games and if found guilty will face a two-year suspension from European competitions.

Trouble started for Yildirim last July when he was convicted in a criminal trial where 93 people were charged in a match fixing scandal tied to the club’s league-winning run in 2011. This time around, if found guilty the club will be expelled from the Champions League for the second time in three seasons after being banned from the 2011-12 tournament when the initial fixing allegations were made.

Besiktas also released a statement confirming the disciplinary proceedings names of the two club members being investigated.

Former vice-president Serdal Adalı and former-manager Tayfur Havutçu are being investigation by UEFA for influencing the result of the Turkish Cup final match played on 11 May 2011 against İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediye Spor. If found guilty Beşiktaş will be suspended from the 2013-14 Europea League competition and Serdal Adalı as well as Tayfur Havutçu will face a lifetime ban from any footballing activities.

If Besiktas are found guilty, they too will be punished although exactly what that punishment will be remains to be seen. The club is already serving a European competition ban for misleading UEFA over non-payment of players wages in 2011 and violating financial fair play regulations.

One way or another it looks like Bursaspor, who finished fourth in the Turkish League one spot behind Besiktas, will likely benefit. But overall, this is yet another black eye for Turkish football.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
1 Comment

The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

Twitter/@WallofSport
Leave a comment

Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.

Premier League vet Scott Parker calls quits on playing career

Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Scott Parker has announced his retirement from soccer after a stellar 20-plus year career in England.

[ MORE: Chile bests Portugal on PKs to reach Confed Cup final ]

The 36-year-old spent almost the entirety of his career in the Premier League, and played with seven teams during his time on the pitch.

“I believe now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career,” Parker said in a statement.

“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.”

Parker began playing with Charlton after coming up through the team’s youth academy, before completing a move to Chelsea in 2004.

Throughout his career, Parker also spent time at Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham, before finishing up at Fulham this past season.

Three storylines when Mexico meets Germany in Confed Cup semis

Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With a place in the final on the line tomorrow afternoon, it’s all or nothing for Mexico and Germany as they meet in the second semifinal at this summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup.

The two nations have had very similar paths in reaching the final four, after both accumulated seven points during the group stage and showed signs of improvement with every match.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s FIFA Confederations Cup action ]

Here are some of the key battles to watch on Thursday when Mexico and Germany square off for a place in the final.

How does Germany’s youth hold up vs. Mexico’s experience?

Even when Jurgen Low released his roster heading into the Confederations Cup, much was expected of the Germans. After a strong run of play during the group stage, Low’s men have lived up to the billing with an exciting young attack and an improving backline to match.

When Germany meets Mexico though, the defending World Cup champions will be taking on an El Tri side that has loads of international experience, and similar to that of Chile, the Europeans will surely receive all that they can handle.

At the tender age of 23, Julian Draxler captains the Germans and has been challenged with leading his nation throughout the tournament. The PSG attacker has been quality thus far, but he and his side will take on a whole different task on Thursday against a quick, feisty Mexican group.

Will Hirving Lozano be the difference in the attack?

Injuries and a key suspension will certain hinder Mexico in the semifinal round, but the bigger question is: how will Juan Carlos Osorio’s side cope with the losses?

El Tri know it will be without winger Andres Guardado due to yellow card accumulation, while striker Javier Hernandez is in question ahead of the Germany clash after reportedly training by himself on Monday.

Although Hernandez likely just needed rest after a busy season of matches in the Bundesliga, Mexico is still seeking a quality playmaker to replace Guardado on Thursday, one that they’re hoping with be Hirving Lozano.

The newly-signed PSV man has quickly become one of the top young faces in global soccer, and with three international goals for El Tri dating back to 2016, Lozano is the spark that Mexico needs.

El Tri must start fast

In all three of Mexico’s group stage matches Osorio’s side fell behind during the first half. While El Tri managed to come away unscathed to remain perfect in group play, it’s difficult to imagine that they will be able to pull off the same feat against a quality German side.

On the other hand, Mexico’s resilience has been impressive. In their opener against Portugal, El Tri pulled off a late winner against the reigning European champions, a result that likely set the tone for the team’s ensuing comebacks versus New Zealand and Russia, respectively.