ISTANBUL, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Ankaraspor were demoted to the Turkish second division on Tuesday over the club’s links to top flight rivals Ankaragucu, which the country’s football authorities said were anti-competitive.
A probe was launched last week into the relationship between the two clubs from the country’s capital after the son of the city’s mayor was appointed chairman of Ankaragucu.
The mayor is honorary chairman of Ankaraspor and the move fuelled speculation about a bid to merge the two clubs. The Turkish Football Federation ordered the process be halted.
“The Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK) decided to relegate Ankaraspor by one division over its relationship with Ankaragucu... ruling that it was contrary to sporting competitiveness,” the PFDK ruling said.
The chairmen of Ankaraspor and Ankaragucu were suspended from their duties for six months. Ankaragucu were not relegated but the club’s board members were suspended for three months.
Last weekend’s match between Ankaraspor and Kayserispor was postponed because of the investigation.
Ankaraspor and Ankaragucu were 14th and 15th respectively in the Turkish championship before Tuesday’s ruling.
(Writing by Daren Butler, Editing by Ken Ferris
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