Amedspor holds Fenerbahçe to draw in cup quarterfinal
AA PhotoLower league club Amedspor continued its high fly in the Ziraat Turkish Cup competition on Feb. 9, holding Spor Toto super League leader Fenerbahçe to a 3-3 draw in a quarterfinal clash.
The game was played amid high tensions in Diyarbakır, Amedspor’s home base, located in the country’s southeast, due to ongoing curfews and security operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in some of the city’s districts.
Amedspor is named after Amed, the Kurdish name for the Diyarbakır region, and the club and its supporters have been the target of anti-PKK slogans by opposing fans at past matches.
The game was played under tight security measures and “behind closed doors” due to a Turkish Football Federation (TFF) ruling. Instead, stands were filled with banners of print out attendees.
The reason for TFF’s punishment was alleged “ideological propaganda” chanted by the club’s supporters in a cup game against Istanbul’s Başakşehir on Jan. 28.
Amedspor fans chanted “The barricade is here,” “Everywhere is Sur, everywhere is resistance,” “Everywhere is Cizre, everywhere is resistance” and “Do not let children die, let them come to football games.”
Amedspor players carried a banner that read “Do not let children die, let them come to games,” during the opening ceremony of the Fenerbahçe game. Amedspor team members also stood still for 30 seconds immediately after kick off to protest the TFF punishments imposed on the club. Fenerbahçe players passed the ball around and waited for the home side players to end their protest.
The home side missed the services of Deniz Naki, who was suspended for 12 games by the Professional Football Disciplinary Board (PFDK) for his remarks on social media after the team’s Bursaspor game on Jan. 31, which Amedspor won 2-1 away.
“It was a very important victory for us today,” Naki posted on social media after the match.
“We have come clear against this dirty game targeting us. We are proud to be a small hope of light for our people in such difficult times. As Amedspor, we have not submitted and we will not submit. Her bijî Azadî! [Long live freedom in Kurdish],” the player added.
He was suspended for “discrimination and ideological propaganda.”