Turkish FA chief Demirören steps down over potential betting business conflict

March 1 – The president of Turkey’s FA, Yıldırım Demirören (pictured), has resigned amid questions over his business empire’s anticipated acquisition of the country’s only legal sports betting company, according to local reports.

Last week, a subsidiary of the Demirören Group, a conglomerate that controls major media outlets in Turkey and which he partially owns, was chosen to run Iddaa, the technology behind the state betting company, setting up a possible conflict of interest with man overseeing Turkish football.

“I am stepping down as TFF (Turkish Football Federation) president in order to prevent any shadows and debates in Turkey’s public and the international arena,” Demirören, a former chairman of Beşiktaş and TFF head since 2012, said in a statement.

A new president will be elected in June with the current number two Hüsnü Güreli in charge until the election.

Also on Thursday, the TFF announced that the Beşiktaş manager Şenol Güneş will return as the national team coach for a 4-year stint starting in June. Güneş managed Turkey to its most successful World Cup, finishing third in 2002.

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