Police, Beşiktaş fans clash before last game at historic Istanbul stadium
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
As Beşiktaş fans closed the traffic on route to the stadium to welcome their team, police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. AA photo
Fans of Istanbul's Beşiktaş football team and police clashed, hours before the last game at the to-be-demolished İnönü Stadium, which is set to be replaced.
The clashes came only 11 days after the police clashed with a crowd that also included some members of a Beşiktaş fan group, during May Day celebrations at the same spot.
Today's violence broke after the fans closed the traffic on route to the stadium, a traditional welcoming gesture to the team members that are supposed to pass by ahead of home games.
The police used tear gas to spread the crowd as some fans threw bottles and stones in response, according to media reports and witnesses.
Civilians in the area enjoying a sunny Istanbul Saturday by the seaside, or for a gastronomy festival nearby, were also affected by the gas.
Fans arriving to watch the last İnönü match against Ankara's Gençlerbiliği struggled to make their way to the stadium, after the police closed the main roads as a precaution.
The team also difficultly reached the stadium, club sources said.
Victory in final match
Meanwhile, Beşiktaş offered its fans a clear 3-0 win over Gençlerbirliği in the big farewell to their venerable stadium with goals from Veli Kavlak, Olcay Şahan and Filip Holosko.
The win allowed the Black Eagles to move into second place and a Champions League position, pending Fenerbahçe's derby match tomorrow against Galatasaray.