Turkish football head resigns after completion of sports betting company purchase

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Former TFF chair Yıldırım Demirören (L) and new Turkish national football team coach Şenol Güneş

Turkish Football Federation (TFF) Chairman Yıldırım Demirören resigned following the completion of the transfer of Turkey’s only legal sports betting company, İddaa, to Demirören’s conglomerate, he said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Demirören’s company this month made the top bid to operate İddaa, drawing criticism from the country’s main opposition party and the public, which said Demirören should have resigned from his post before the tender was opened.

“I have made this decision regarding this task I have carried with pride and honour until today to not leave any space for dispute and to cast a shadow over it before the Turkish and world public,” Demirören said in a statement on the TFF’s website.

The commission running the bidding process was not immediately available for comment regarding the transfer of İddaa to Demirören’s conglomerate.

The Şans Girişim venture consisting of the chairman’s Demirören Holding and US company Scientific Games had offered a 0.2 percent revenue-sharing deal.

Inteltek, the only other bidder, objected to the decision, filing an application for Sans Girisim’s bid not to be taken into consideration.

Inteltek, which has operated İddaa since 2008, was the only participant in an initial tender held in November. The tender was later cancelled due to a lack of competition.

Hours before Demirören’s resignation was announced, the TFF agreed to a four-year deal with Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş to coach the Turkish national team.

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