Violent Spectator Attack Mars Fenerbahce Victory in Turkish Super Lig Match

Trabzonsport fans ran on to the field and attacked Fenerbahce players after Sunday’s Super Lig match. Fenerbahce players were met with violence as they celebrated their 3-2 victory at Papara Park in Trabzon. Fenerbahce’s Bright Osayi-Samuel and Michy Batshuayi both tried to intervene as security services entered the field.

“It is never acceptable for violence to take place on football pitches – above all, sport is gentlemanship,” Turkey’s Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said.

“An investigation has been initiated immediately to identify the spectators who entered the pitch and to investigate the incidents that took place at the end of the match,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Yerlikaya said on Monday that 12 fans had been arrested.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said the incidents were “absolutely unacceptable”.

“I have said it before, and I will say it again – without exception, in football, all players have to be safe and secure to play the game which brings such joy to so many people all over the world,” he said.

“I call on the relevant authorities to ensure that this is respected at all levels and for the perpetrators of the shocking events in Trabzon to be held accountable for their actions.”

Tensions started to rise in the 87th minute when objects were thrown on to the field after Batshuayi scored what proved to be the winner for the visitors.

Nigeria winger Osayi-Samuel, who used to play for Blackpool and Queens Park Rangers, knocked one pitch invader to the ground while former Chelsea forward Batshuayi aimed a kick at another as the players were swarmed by opposition fans.

The Turkish Football Federation called the events “unacceptable” and said in a statement that “the necessary criminal sanctions will be imposed on those responsible for these incidents”.

Trabzonspor coach Abdullah Avci said: “We are going through a period that Turkish football is now completely fed by chaos, where tensions are constantly high, and where we cannot use the healing power of football.”

Fenerbahce manager Ismail Kartal added: “I don’t understand why this place is so tense. Don’t we have the right to celebrate? We need to overcome these things. We need to be tolerant towards each other and have common sense.”

It is the latest in a series of controversial incidents in the Turkish league during the 2023-24 season. In December, referee Halil Umut Meler was struck by MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca, leading to a suspension in Super Lig fixtures. Fenerbahce sit second in the Super Lig, two points behind leaders Galatasaray and 30 clear of Trabzonspor in third.

Source: BBC Sports

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