Fener fans clash with police as Galatasaray wins championship

Fener fans clash with police as Galatasaray wins championship

ANKARA - The Associated Press
Fener fans clash with police as Galatasaray wins championship

Hürriyet photo.

Hundreds of Fenerbahce fans occupied the pitch and clashed with police after traditional rival Galatasaray won the Turkish league championship following a goalless derby on Saturday.

The fans broke plastic chairs and threw them at the police who tried to use their shields to protect the players following the final whistle at Fenerbahce's Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul. They also tossed flares at the police.

In response, police used pepper spray to disperse angry Fenerbahce fans and evacuated the stadium as the players escaped to changing rooms along with police.

The fans also threw chairs and other objects at a corridor leading to the changing rooms. The clash followed a tense game during which referee Cuneyt Cakir booked several players and issued red cards to one player from each team.

A TV reporter for sports channel Lig TV said journalists, players and even policemen were also affected from the pepper spray.

Lig TV said some Fenerbahce fans also clashed with police outside the stadium. However, there were no reports of injuries.

Galatasaray was scheduled to lift the Turkish Super League Cup at the stadium of their rival but he clashes virtually blocked any celebration there and authorities finally turned off the floodlights.

But thousands of Galatasaray fans took to the streets, honking car horns across the country to celebrate Galatasaray's 18th league title, which came just days after the Turkish Football Federation cleared all teams implicated in an alleged match-fixing scheme, drawing criticism even from some federation officials.

It was not clear if UEFA would be satisfied with the decision of the federation, which only sanctioned some players and club officials but spared the clubs, including Fenerbahce which was allegedly at the center of the match-fixing scandal.

Turkey, violence,