HomeNFL‘Absolutely unacceptable’: Infantino fury as Trabzonspor fans attack players

‘Absolutely unacceptable’: Infantino fury as Trabzonspor fans attack players

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Violence in the Turkish Super Lig is “unacceptable”, Gianni Infantino said as he called on authorities to take action following chaotic scenes after Fenerbahce’s 3-2 win at Trabzonspor on Sunday.

Fans of Turkey’s Trabzonspor stormed the pitch and brawled with players from visiting Fenerbahce and security staff, in the latest incident in a league that has been marred by controversy this season.

In a statement, Infantino – Fifa’s president – said: “The violence witnessed after the Turkish Super Lig match between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce is absolutely unacceptable – on or off the field, it has no place in our sport or society.

“All players have to be safe and secure to play the game which brings such joy to so many people all over the world. 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.”

Brazilian midfielder Fred scored twice to give Fenerbahce, who are second in the Super Lig, a half-time lead.

North Macedonia midfielder Enis Bardhi curled in a free-kick after 63 minutes for the hosts and Trézéguet equalised with a penalty in the 78th. Fenerbahce’s Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi scored an 87th-minute winner as tensions ran high between the two teams, who have a history of chaotic encounters, and fans hurled objects on to the field.

Fenerbahce’s players celebrated in the centre of the pitch after the final whistle. A supporter ran on to the field and fought with Fenerbahce defender Bright Osayi-Samuel. Video footage showed Osayi-Samuel swinging a fist towards the fan, while Batshuayi could be seen kicking out at supporters as security forces tried to intervene. Dozens more then stormed the pitch, as security forces tried to shield Fenerbahce players running off the field.

Fenerbahce’s head coach, Ismail Kartal, said his players had not provoked fans and that his team was attacked, while his opposite number, Abdullah Avci, said the events at the end were upsetting, adding: “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.”

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The interior minister, Ali Yerlikaya, later said on X that authorities had launched an investigation into the brawl and to identify the fans who had stormed the pitch. “Above all, sport is gentlemanship. It is never acceptable for violence to take place on football pitches,” he said.

The incident comes after a series of other controversies in the Turkish league this season, including an attack on a referee by a club president, the postponement of a Turkish cup final in Saudi Arabia, and several protests against refereeing decisions.

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