Fener downed by harsh red card against Eskişehirspor
ESKISEHIR - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman (2L) drags his player Caner Erkin (C) from the pitch after the midfielder is sent off during the Eskişehirspor match. AA photo
Fenerbahçe was left ruing a controversial red card after being held to a 1-1 draw at Eskişehirspor in the Spor Toto Super League on Nov. 18.
An acrobatic effort from Moussa Sow – an increasingly regular occurrence - salvaged a point for Fenerbahçe after a first-half penalty by Necati Ateş put Eskişehir in front. However, the talk of the game was the red card shown to the visitors’ lively midfielder Caner Erkin.
Erkin was sent off by referee Fırat Aydınus in the 26th minute for no apparent reason. After losing out in a header with Eskişehirspor’s Veysel Sarı, Caner stumbled to the ground and continued to play for a few seconds. However, Aydınus, apparently on the suggestion of the fourth official, returned to the area of the incident and sent off Erkin, much to almost everyone’s surprise off the pitch.
“I swear on my child’s life that I did not do anything,” Caner told reporters after the game.
Daily Hürriyet reported that Sarı had sworn at Caner during the position, but the fourth official Yaşar Kemal Uğurlu thought it was Caner who had used the obscene language. Uğurlu did not respond to Lig TV’s questions after the game.
Following the red card, Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman stormed onto the pitch and argued with Aydınus - uncharacteristic behavior for the manager. Speaking after the game, Kocaman’s anger was still palpable. “Fırat Aydınus could be a good referee, but he is prejudiced. A referee should not have prejudices. I cannot explain those bad and one-sided decisions,” he said.
Kocaman added that the team had been “pressed hard since July 3, ,” referring to the date that the club’s top officials were detained as part of a match-fixing probe. A Turkish court eventually found chairman Aziz Yıldırım and a number of other officials guilty of attempting to manipulate matches, but the Turkish Football Federation did not punish the club as these attempts “were not reflected on the pitch.”
Despite the draw, Fenerbahçe closed the gap between itself and leader Galatasaray to two points, as the defending champion suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Kardemir Karabükspor on Nov. 16.
Galatasaray heads the league with 22 points, but Medical Park Antalyaspor had the chance to take its place at the top with just a draw in its match against Beşiktaş, which was scheduled to take place late yesterday.
Fenerbahçe remained third with 20 points, while Eskişehirspor is fourth with 18 points.
The Gençlerbirliği vs. Sivasspor and Istanbul BB vs. Sanica Boru Elazığspor matches also ended in 1-1 draws on Nov. 17.