Football club head denies president’s call, apologizes for sexist remarks

Football club head denies president’s call, apologizes for sexist remarks

Football club head denies president’s call, apologizes for sexist remarks

Trabzonspor football club chair İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu. DHA Photo

Reactions towards Trabzonspor football club chair İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu, who allegedly held the referees of a match on Oct. 28 hostage for four hours and also caused controversy over his sexist remarks to defend the situation, continue, as the football club head has withdrawn his initial comments regarding a call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

Trabzonspor officials took referee Çağatay Şahan and his three assistants hostage for four hours over what they considered an “erroneous decision” during a football match against Gaziantepspor on Oct. 28, which ended in a 2-2 draw, only to release them after a call from Erdoğan.  

Galatasaray football club chairman Dursun Özbek said Trabzonspor’s attitude towards the referees were not acts that would contribute to Turkish football, adding they did not want to enter discussions with other football clubs but just wanted to play their game. 

Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who answered questions from the users at Ekşi Sözlük (Sour Dictionary), a hugely popular online forum, only a couple of days before the snap election on Nov. 1, said when they come to power no one could walk around freely or talk on live TV shows and threaten people when they had held referees hostage.

“During our government, no one will be able to put pressure on someone else by trusting us,” said Kılıçdaroğlu on Oct. 29. 

Talking to private broadcaster CNNTurk on Oct. 29, Hacıosmanoğlu denied Erdoğan had called him and then he had ordered the release of the referees. 

“How can a football club chair hold people hostage when there are security forces? How can the referees be taken out [of the stadium] when there is such a crowd? I told my friends to ‘give tea or coffee and food to the referees.’ They left the stadium when security was maintained,” said Hacıosmanoğlu. 

He also apologized for women who were offended by his words on Oct. 29, when he said, “If we’re going to die, we’ll die like men; we won’t live like women. No one has the power to make us live like women.”

“I respect all women. It was figurative… I apologize for the ladies who have been sincerely offended by my words,” said Hacıosmanoğlu. 

“I do not apologize for the people who have used [my words] malevolently, even if they are a lawmaker,” he added, referring to CHP deputy Aylin Nazlıaka, who had said Hacıosmanoğlu neither had the virtue nor the honor to live as a woman. 

“He cannot be even the [finger] nail of a woman,” Nazlıaka had said.