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TURKEY > Alex de Souza crisis deepens at Fenerbahçe

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Reports that Alex de Souza complained about chairman and coach adds to controversy surrounding the Fener ace. AA photo

Reports that Alex de Souza complained about chairman and coach adds to controversy surrounding the Fener ace. AA photo

Fenerbahçe found itself in double trouble yesterday, with the Alex de Souza crisis deepening only hours after the team bowed out of the Champions League.

The Yellow Canaries failed to make their return to the top-level European competition after a 1-1 draw against Spartak Moscow on Aug. 29. Fenerbahçe had lost the first leg of the tie 2-1 so a draw was not enough for the Istanbul team.

However, the woes of failing to make it to the top stage in European football were almost overshadowed by the new chapter in the ongoing Alex saga. The team’s Brazilian captain reportedly took to an online chat session with Fenerbahçe fans and said he was unwanted at the club.

“I tried to talk to coach [Aykut Kocaman] but he would not see me,” several newspapers quoted him as writing. “When I talked with the chairman [Aziz Yıldırım] he did not even look me in the eye.”

Alex fell out of favor at Fener when he used the word “jealousy” on Twitter to comment on the coach Aykut Kocaman’s decision to substitute him during the game in Moscow. Alex was then left out of the squad to face Kayserispor in the Turkish league by coach Kocaman.

Fan support

The 34-year-old player is a fan favorite at Fenerbahçe, where he has scored 136 goals in 241 games in nine seasons.

During the final minutes of the Kayserispor game, Fenerbahçe chanted in favor of the team’s captain, who was not on the pitch. Chairman Yıldırım took the microphone and called on the fans to “support those who are on the pitch.”

Kocaman, who said he was heartbroken about the situation, used Alex in the last half-hour against Spartak, and the Brazilian was effective in setting up Fenerbahçe’s only goal.

Both Kocaman and Alex hailed the supporters before the game. However, after the draw, Kocaman was asked whether the rift was solved, and only said: “That is a too sensitive subject and I don’t want to talk about it.”

August/31/2012

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