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BASKETBALL >Fenerbahçe chairman barred from basketball courts for 6 months for attacking rival chairman

ISTANBUL

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Aziz Yıldırım, the chairman of Istanbul-based sports club Fenerbahçe, has been barred from basketball games for six months and fined 40,000 Turkish Liras ($11,162) for attacking a rival club’s chairman.

Turkish Basketball Federation’s disciplinary board on May 8 also fined Işık Eyigüngör, chairman of the Near East University club, 7,500 liras ($2,092) for insulting Yıldırım, and barred him from matches for a month.

The incident flared on May 7 when Yıldırım slapped Eyigüngör just ahead of a derby match between the two clubs’ women basketball teams. 

Yıldırım was reported to have lost his nerve when he and other Fenerbahçe executives were not given seats and were kept waiting at the Caferağa Stadium, where tip-off was due at 2 p.m.

The Near East University club, hosting the match, was also reported to have filled the empty seats in the arena with the fans of Fenerbahçe’s arch-rival Beşiktaş. 

The incident came ahead of a critical football match in the Turkish Super League between Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe on the night of May 7. 

“You see their indecencies. They are trying to lure our players just before the match, making transfer bids. We want tickets for our fans but they are not selling them [to Fenerbahçe supporters],” Yıldırım told the reporters after the incident.

The basketball federation’s chairman, Hidayet Türkoğlu, said he was “deeply saddened by the events during the Near East University-Fenerbahçe game.”

A separate criminal investigation against Yıldırım is also in progress.

May/09/2017

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