- Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - A Turkish appeals court has upheld the match-fixing conviction of the president of the Fenerbahce soccer club.

Aziz Yildirim was convicted in July 2012 and sentenced to six years and three months in prison for fixing games, trying to influence the outcome of matches and leading a criminal gang.

The Anadolu Agency said an appeals court upheld the conviction Friday.

Yildirim, who denies any wrongdoing, can lodge a final appeal. But if the conviction and sentence are confirmed, Yildirim is expected to return to prison and be forced to step down as Fenerbahce chairman. He had spent a year behind bars but was released pending the outcome of his appeal.

Fenerbahce was expelled from the Europa League and barred from qualifying for next season’s Champions League over the scandal.

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