Controversial penalty call overshadows derby game
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Galatasaray players celebrate after a goal against Beşiktaş in the Spor Toto Super League. The derby game on Aug 25 ended 3-3. AA PhotoBeşiktaş and defending champion Galatasaray shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller on Aug. 26, but the entertaining tilt was overshadowed by a late penalty call by the referee.
Referee Bülent Yıldırım called for a penalty based on the input of his assistant after Galatasaray striker Burak Yılmaz tripped and fell in the 84th minute of the Spor Toto Super League week-two fixture. Amid protests from Beşiktaş players and supporters, Selçuk İnan converted the shot to level the game at 3-3.
Almost all pundits, including former referee Markus Merk, who participated in an after-match show on the official broadcaster Lig TV, agreed that the penalty call was a mistake.
Beşiktaş coach Samet Aybaba was furious with the refereeing standards in the season’s first big Istanbul derby, the earliest in the top Turkish league’s 55-year history.
‘Refs should be careful’
“The calls by the referee hurt us at a time we thought everything was going great,” Aybaba told reporters during a post-game press conference. “The referees should be more careful, everybody saw that it was not a penalty.”
When asked about the play after the game, Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said he had not seen it. “I cannot say anything without saying it, I don’t know if the decision is right or wrong,” he said. “I will later watch it on television, but the referees sometimes call it and sometimes don’t. There will always be a debate over their rulings.”
The experienced coach said his side did not play well, especially in the second half. “But sometimes, one point is the right point at the right time,” Terim said. “Last year we played worse in a goalless draw against Beşiktaş, but that point made the difference. Not losing is good, I’m not happy, but I can say it is good.”
Criticism of criticism
Aybaba congratulated his players for their level of play while also taking issue with the media for the criticism that has been directed toward the team.
“Beşiktaş is on everybody’s agenda while the other teams are not debated,” he said. “This creates tension over us, the players and the supporters. We will try to do whatever a football team should do.”
Beşiktaş’s coach refused to answer a question on Ricardo Quaresma, who has been left out of the squad after reportedly refusing to take a pay cut.
“It is not right to talk about an individual name when talking about a major club like Beşiktaş,” he said. “Players and coaches come and go, the brand is Beşiktaş. Let’s not spend our energy on such things.”
The Black Eagles were also hit by an injury to striker Mustafa Pektemek, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is expected to be out for at least six months.