HomeFootballFenerbahçe ‘considering’ withdrawal from Süper Lig - Turkish News

Fenerbahçe ‘considering’ withdrawal from Süper Lig – Turkish News

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ISTANBUL

Fenerbahçe will consider withdrawing from the Turkish topflight after some of the club’s players were attacked by Trabzonspor fans following a road victory over the weekend, the Süper Lig club has said.

Trabzonspor supporters stormed the pitch and brawled with security forces and Fenerbahçe players after their team lost 3-2 on March 17 in the latest incident in a league that has been marred by controversy this season.

“We will create our own destiny, we’ll be relegated to a lower league, if necessary,” Fenerbahçe President Ali Koç said at a press conference late on March 18.

“We’ll die once instead of dying every day. If necessary, we’ll play [in the First Division] for a year and win promotion again. If you treat us like a pariah club in this country, and I say this to the state, to the TFF [Turkish Football Federation], to the media, we have to decide our own future. This is not some kind of blackmail or threat,” he added.

Fenerbahçe will hold an Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting on April 2, the Board of Directors decided on March 18.

The agenda points include evaluation of the actions to be taken following the incident “including the withdrawal of our football team from the Süper Lig,” a club statement read.

“We are going through crucial times in the history of Fenerbahçe Sports Club,” Koç told reporters, announcing that he also resigned as the chairman of the Union of Clubs, which represents the interests of professional football clubs in Süper Lig.

“I ask the members of the club to attend the congress and stand by your club, let’s decide what to do together. Let’s do what is necessary. It cannot go on like this,” he added.

The club president said the way Fenerbahçe “is being treated in this country is unacceptable.”

“What would we do if only one footballer was lynched?” he asked.

“We always say, ‘let this be the last time’ when violence erupts on football fields, but it will never be the last time. We are becoming a country that normalizes violence.”

Koç argued that the match had to be stopped before the final whistle.

 

“If Halil Umut Meler [the match’s referee] would continue with such a match [on the European stage], UEFA would withdraw his license,” he added.

“If the referee was reluctant to make the call, the TFF should have said that this match cannot continue.”

Koç’s remarks came after a crowd of home supporters invaded the pitch at Trabzonspor’s stadium following a 3-2 loss to Fenerbahçe in a match on March 17.

Images showed a Trabzonspor fan enter the pitch and begin running towards the celebrating Fenerbahçe players, some of whom reacted by running towards him to trying and strike him.

Other fans then invaded the pitch as stewards tried to restore order.

Videos showed Belgian international Michy Batshuayi kicking a fan who had entered the pitch and Nigerian international Bright Osayi-Samuel punching another supporter.

In other images on social media, a fan could be seen to threaten a visiting player with a corner flag and Fenerbahçe’s goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic received a punch to the face.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said that 12 people involved in the pitch invasion and attacks on players, including the man who punched Livakovic, have been detained and a criminal investigation into the incident was ongoing. 

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