Fener, Trabzon ready to rumble in tense meeting
Trabzonspor’s Olcan Adın, (L) a former Fenerbahçe midfielder, vies with defender Joseph Yobo during a Super League meeting.There will be no love lost between Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor on Oct. 6, just as during the recent meetings between two of the giants of Turkish football.
Fenerbahçe hosts Trabzonspor in the big game of the Spor Toto Super League’s seventh round, and the two clubs, which have been battling both on and off the field since a match-fixing scandal broke in the summer of 2011, are likely to provide another tense battle.
Fenerbahçe has made it clear that Trabzonspor chairman İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu will not be welcome as the club’s regular guest president , meaning that the outspoken boss will not be sitting next to his Fener counterpart Aziz Yıldırım at the match, as all other visiting clubs’ leading men do.
Hacıosmanoğlu said he would come to the game anyhow, but would not watch the game among Fenerbahçe fans. The Trabzonspor boss watched his team’s game against Beşiktaş among the home team’s fans, but said the gesture would not be “suitable” this time.
After taking over the club chair, Hacıosmanoğlu did not hold it anything back regarding Yıldırım and the two entered a war of words via the club’s official websites.
Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor’s rivalry took a new turn after July 3, 2011, when a match-fixing investigation was made public with several detentions. A year later, an Istanbul court ruled that several Fenerbahçe officials, including Yıldırım, attempted to manipulate some games from the 2010-2011 Turkish championship, while Trabzonspor officials, who were included in the case, were cleared of the charges. The Turkish Football Federation (TFF), however, said that even though there were attempts at manipulation, they were “not reflected on the pitch,” and so did not punish any clubs involved in the case.
Fenerbahçe officials and fans championed the idea that the case, launched into the season in which they won the league title on goal difference over Trabzonspor, was a plot to dethrone the mighty Yıldırım. On the other side, Trabzonspor has been demanding Fenerbahçe to be stripped of the title and be re-awarded the trophy.
The games between the clubs have also had their fair share of tension, with midfielders Emre Belözoğlu of Fenerbahçe and Didier Zokora of Trabzonspor in particular having their own battles.
Trabzonspor is coming off a tough Europa League game against Lazio, in which the Black Sea Storm shipped two late goals to slump to a 3-3 draw. However, Trabzonspor is still on a three-match winning streak in the league, and currently sits fourth with 12 points. Fenerbahçe leads the division with 15 points after a five-match winning run.
The game at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium starts at 8 p.m.
Earlier on the same day, Galatasaray will visit Akhisar, four days after snatching a 2-2 draw at Italian titleholder Juventus in the Champions League. The game will mark Italian coach Roberto Mancini’s first game in the dugout for a Super League match, after the club unveiled him as its new manager on Sept. 30. Galatasaray is the only unbeaten team in the league, sitting 10th with four draws in six weeks.
The game starts at 4:30 p.m.
Elsewhere, high-flying Çaykur Rizespor, currently 2nd with 13 points, hosts Medical Park Antalyaspor, which shocked Beşiktaş 2-0 on Sept. 30. Also on Oct. 6, Sivasspor hosts Gençlerbirliği and Kasımpaşa takes on Sanica Boru Elazığspor.
On Oct. 6, Beşiktaş will try to bounce back from back-to-back defeats, but it faces another hard test at 6th-placed Eskişehirspor.
Torku Konyaspor takes on Kayseri Erciyesspor and Kayserispor meets Gaziantepspor in the other games on Oct. 5.