Feb 28 2019

Facing conflict of interest accusations, Demirören resigns as head of Turkish football

Turkish businessman Yıldırım Demirören on Thursday resigned as head of Turkish football's main governing body after facing questions about his conglomerate’s expected acquisition of a betting business, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Last week, a subsidiary of the Demirören Group, partially owned by Demirören, was chosen to run Turkey's only legal sports betting business, Iddaa, setting up a possible conflict of interest with the same man overseeing Turkish football and sports betting.

"l step down as TFF [Turkish Football Federation] president," Demirören, TFF head since 2012, said in a statement. A new president will be elected in June.

Also on Thursday, the TFF announced that the manager of Istanbul’s Beşiktaş football club, Şenol Güneş, will return as the manager of Turkey’s national team for a 4-year stint starting in June.

Güneş managed Turkey to its most successful FIFA World Cup Finals appearance, when the national team finished in third place in 2002.

Demirören is the former chairman of Beşiktaş and part owner of the Demirören Group, a conglomerate that oversees energy firms and several pro-government news outlets.