Iceland’s reception of Turkey football team sparks controversy, diplomatic protest

The Turkish team was kept waiting for several hours at passport control at Reykjavik airport on Sunday and subjected to extensive security checks. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 10 June 2019

Iceland’s reception of Turkey football team sparks controversy, diplomatic protest

  • The Turkish team was kept waiting for several hours at passport control
  • Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter to show his anger

REYKJAVIK: Turkish officials Monday denounced the “disrespect” shown to the national football team when they arrived in Iceland for a Euro 2020 qualifier.
The Turkish team was kept waiting for several hours at passport control at Reykjavik airport on Sunday and subjected to extensive security checks, according to accounts from the players carried by Turkish media.
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter to show his anger, slamming the “disrespect” shown to the national team and saying the treatment of the Turkish players was “unacceptable.”
Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency, also said the treatment was “not in line with diplomatic courtesy or sportsmanlike conduct.”
The foreign ministry issued a diplomatic protest note to Iceland via the Norwegian embassy. Icelandic officials confirmed to AFP that they had received the protest but did not provide further details.
Isavia, the company who manages the airport, said the extended checks had been made for security reasons, since the airport the players originally departed from, Konya, is not party to the same security rules as airports within the EU or countries that have a related agreement.
The company said it was “under obligation to carry out a security search of all passengers coming from such airports,” regardless of nationality.
“As a rule, the security search does not take long. Last evening, however, the search took longer as a search had to be made for electronic devices and liquids in unusually many bags,” the company said in a statement.
The Icelandic Football Federation’s security team told the news website Visir that players from the Icelandic team had experienced similar checks when they returned from Turkey after a match two years ago.
The incident comes right after Turkey defeated world champions France 2-0 in Konya in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday.


Pakistan’s Jamshed pleads guilty in UK bribery case

Updated 10 December 2019

Pakistan’s Jamshed pleads guilty in UK bribery case

  • 33-year-old former batsman is accused of conspiring to bribe PSL players to perform poorly
  • An undercover cop unearthed evidence by pretending to be a member of a corrupt betting syndicate

London: Former Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed pleaded guilty on Monday to a conspiracy to bribe fellow cricketers as part of a Twenty20 spot-fixing coup.
Jamshed, 33, had originally denied being involved in a plan focused on the Pakistan Super League but changed his plea during a court hearing in Manchester.
Two other men, Yousef Anwar, 36, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34, admitted last week to offering financial advantages to PSL players with the intention of inducing them to perform improperly by failing to play competitively in good faith.
All three will be sentenced on a date to be fixed in February.
Prosecutors told the court an undercover police officer had unearthed evidence by pretending to be a member of a corrupt betting syndicate.
The policeman’s efforts then led to the discovery of an attempted fix in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) late in 2016 and an actual fix in the PSL in February 2017.
In both cases, an opening batsman in the Twenty20 tournaments had agreed to not score runs from the first two balls of an over in return for payment.
Jamshed was said to be the target of bribery in Bangladesh before turning perpetrator as a go-between urging other players to spot-fix in a PSL match between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on February 9.
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said later on Monday Anwar and Ijaz had developed a system by which they would charge £30,000 per fix ($39,450) per fix with half of the sum going to the player.
Ian McConnell, the NCA’s Senior Investigating Officer, said: “These men abused their privileged access to professional, international cricket to corrupt games, eroding public confidence for their own financial gain.
“Tackling corruption and bribery in its various forms is a priority for the National Crime Agency.
“We will vigorously pursue those involved and target their illicit profits which are so often used to fund further criminality.”
Spot-fixing involves rigging a specific aspect of a game on which bookmakers have offered odds, unlike match-fixing, where the whole result is fixed.
Jamshed has played Test, one-day and Twenty20 international cricket for Pakistan.