Fenerbahçe’s Van Persie testifies, denies insult allegations
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Fenerbahçe player Robin van Persie rejected insult allegations regarding his controversial behavior on the football pitch on Feb. 5 in a testimony he gave at Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse on Oct. 13.
The player rejected the claims, saying his behavior was not intended to insult anyone, in response to an investigation the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office’s Sports Bureau launched against him, which is seeking one to three years of prison sentence on charges of “inciting hatred” and “insulting.”
Tension at a Feb. 5 derby game peaked after van Persie and Beşiktaş’s Dusko Tosic came into confrontation.
The home side’s Serbian defender head-butted the Dutch forward, who had kicked him while the ball was in play.
The referee sent off Tosic and booked van Persie over the incident, sparking a brawl between the players of the two teams.
Tensions continued after the game when Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş was pictured grabbing the face of Fenerbahçe defender Simon Kjær.
After the game, van Persie said he was “not implying anything” by placing his hands inside his shorts while looking at Beşiktaş captain Oğuzhan Özyakup, a picture that triggered debate during and after the game.
Fenerbahçe won the game 1-0 thanks to a clean touch by van Persie on the 72nd minute from inside the six-yard box, handing the Black Eagles their first loss at its new stadium, Vodafone Arena.