Galatasaray to boycott decisive game of basketball finals series against arch-foes Fenerbahçe
The last game in the series is scheduled to be played at Fenerbaçe’s court on June 19. AA PhotoGalatasaray Liv Hospital will not be on court against Fenerbahçe Ülker on June 19 following a unanimous decision of the club board to boycott the game.
The decision came hours after the Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) announced Fenerbahçe Ülker was fined 40,000 Turkish Liras for incidents in the fifth game of the Beko Basketball League (BBL) finals series at the Ülker Arena.
Galatasaray Chairman Ünal Aysal accused the TBF of “being the puppet of dark circles” over the decision.
“The ruling to have a game played with spectators, in spite of putting the lives of our players and the technical staff in danger, is a betrayal to Turkish sports,” Aysal said in a televised statement.
“Galatasaray men’s basketball club will not be a part of this dirty game. We will also consider whether our men’s and women’s professional basketball clubs should continue participating in local competitions,” he added.
Galatasaray Liv Hospital beat Fenerbahçe Ülker 85-77 on June 16 at the Abdi İpekçi Arena to tie the series at 3-3, and the last game is scheduled to be played at Fenerbaçe’s court on June 19.
Only women accompanied by children younger than 14-years-old were allowed to watch June 16’s game at the Abdi İpekçi Arena due to a ban imposed on Galatasaray by the TBF for fan trouble.
Speaking after game, Galatasaray coach Ergin Ataman claimed his life would be at risk at the Ülker Arena.
“My players also think the same. If Obradovic was in my situation, Europe would be up in arms. I don’t know how we will be able to play if the conditions do not normalize,” Ataman said.
Fenerbahçe coach Zeljko Obradovic said Galatasaray was the better side on the court.
“We have one last game at home, where my players feel more comfortable. It is an advantage that we will host the title decider,” Obradovic said.