Abandoned Fenerbahçe-Beşiktaş cup game adds more tension to Turkish Super League
A Ziraat Turkish Cup semifinal game between Istanbul giants Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş was abandoned by the referee amid chaotic crowd scenes late on April 19, adding more tension to the Super League as all four big Istanbul sides remain in contention for the title.
In the return match of the 2-2 first leg, which was also marked by brawl between players, Beşiktaş’s Portuguese central defender Pepe was sent off for an ill-judged tackle against Fenerbahçe midfielder Josef de Souza.
During the goalless first half, Beşiktaş left-back Caner Erkin, a former Fenerbahçe regular, was constantly booed by home side fans each time he touched the ball, while Beşiktaş winger Ricardo Quaresma was also subjected to projectiles, particularly while taking corners.
At the start of the second half, sections of the Fenerbahçe crowd continued to throw objects such as plastic bottles, coins and key chains at the Beşiktaş bench and the referee halted the game in the 57th minute.
Beşiktaş players then left the pitch along with the referees and the game was later abandoned.
Television pictures showed Güneş clutching his head in pain and bewilderment and falling to the turf after being hit by one object.
Güneş, the legendary former Turkish international goalkeeper who has led Beşiktaş to two consecutive championship titles, was taken by his own medical staff to the changing rooms where he received five stitches to the head wound.
He was later taken to hospital and pictures showed him being transferred on a stretcher.
At the time the match was abandoned at Fenerbahçe’s Ülker Stadium on the Asian side of Istanbul, the score was 0-0.
The Anadolu Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul has launched a probe into the incidents, it stated early on April 20.
A suspect linked to the incident was arrested after Turkish security forces viewed camera footage, the statement added.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) is set to rule on a replay or declare Beşiktaş’s win by default, which would put the Black Eagles against Akhisarspor, an underdog which downed league leader Galatasaray a day earlier.
“I don’t remember how I made it to the corridors [of the stadium] and how I fell over,” Şenol Güneş told Hürriyet.
“This game should be a milestone if it helps end [violence in football]. Teams should leave the pitch even if just a piece of paper is thrown onto the pitch,” he added.
The coach also ruled out claims that he had exaggerated his injury.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke about the incident in Ankara on April 20, describing the incident as a “plot.”
“These incidents at the stadium was apparently organized by someone,” Erdoğan said, adding that substances were thrown from “particular points.”
“I also wish that Tolga had not gotten engaged in a mistake there,” he stated, referring to Beşiktaş’s substitute goalkeeper Tolga Zengin’s reaction to the angry fans behind him.
What happened to coach Güneş is “unacceptable,” Erdoğan said, signaling a new study to curb violence in football and adding that he had called the chairs of both clubs as well as Güneş.
In the return to the league, third-placed Başakşehir on 59 points was due to host Kayserispor late on April 20, 60-point Galatasaray will visit Alanyaspor on April 21, and 59-point Beşiktaş will take on Malatyaspor on April 22.
Fenerbahçe will host Antalyaspor on April 23 in the closing game of the week.