Kocaman opens up about resignation
Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman (L) addresses reporters at a football field in Antalya where the club is having its mid-season training camp.Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman cited refereeing mistakes and management failures as he opened up for the first time on why he tried to quit his post at the club.
Kocaman, who was persuaded by club board and players to return just a few days after announcing his resignation, addressed reporters on Jan. 4.
“There were two reasons for my resignation,” Kocaman said. “Firstly, there was no way I could explain the 27 points [that the team collected in the first half of the league]. I could not explain that. The second reason was the number of incorrect suspensions handed to my players, I could not explain that either. Somebody had to take responsibility, so I did.”
Kocaman resigned during a press conference after Fenerbahçe’s 3-1 defeat to Kardemir Karabükspor in the Spor Toto Super League on Dec. 23. With the defeat, which came in the last round of the first half of the season, Fenerbahçe was left fourth in the league and six points behind leader Galatasaray.
The second part of Kocaman’s explanation refers to the suspensions handed to two Fenerbahçe players, Caner Erkin and Raul Meireles.
Caner was shown a dubious red card for swearing during the team’s 1-1 draw against Eskişehirspor.
A bigger controversy broke when Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles was hit with a 12-match ban for spitting at referee Halis Özkahya after being sent off during Fenerbahçe’s 2-1 defeat to Galatasaray. The ban was later reduced to four games, after an arbitrary committee ruled that there was no spitting but just a verbal attack and a hand gesture from the Portuguese player.
“The majority of the Fenerbahçe family asked me to stay on the night I quit,” Kocaman said. “When I was saying I do not feel that power, [the support] gave it back to me.”