CONGRATS: FENERBAHCE WINS TURKISH LEAGUE TITLE
Fenerbahce won the Turkish league title with three games to spare on Sunday after a 0-0 draw at home to Caykur Rizespor, in front of a crowd made up exclusively of women and children.
The Istanbul giants have 68 points and cannot be caught by nearest challengers, and bitter rivals, Galatasaray, who won 1-0 at Elazigspor but trail by 12 points.
No adult males were allowed to attend the match after a one-game ban was handed down by the Turkish Football Federation earlier this month.
Nevertheless, thousands of Fenerbahce fans took to the streets in the club’s home district of Kadikoy, on Istanbul’s Asian side, to celebrate.
It is the 19th time that Fenerbahce have won the title, putting them level with Galatasaray, their rivals from across the Bosphorus who reached the landmark last season.
Fenerbahce, who last won the title in 2011, will not be allowed to compete in the Champions League next season as they complete a two-year ban from Europe following a UEFA sanction for match-fixing.
As a result, the second-placed side will qualify directly for the group stage of the 2014-15 Champions League.
The victory came after a top court last week rejected an appeal by Fenerbahce boss Aziz Yildirim, who faces a jail term of six years and three months for match-fixing.
Yildirim, who was first sentenced to jail and fined 1.3 million lira ($580,000) in 2012 for match fixing during the 2010-11 season, served about a year of his original sentence before being freed pending an appeal.