Tensions run high between Trabzon, Fenerbahçe following goalless derby

Tensions run high between Trabzon, Fenerbahçe following goalless derby

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Tensions run high between Trabzon, Fenerbahçe following goalless derby

Trabzonspor's Florent Malouda and Fenerbahçe's Moussa Sow fight for posession during tonight's game in Istanbul's Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium. AA photo

A quarrel has erupted between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe players after the goalless derby on Oct. 6 as Trabzonspor president İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu was first verbally attacked by Fenerbahçe fans who then threw stones and bottles at Hacıosmanoğlu’s car as he was leaving the Kadıköy stadium.

“How much money did you fix the game for?” a Fenerbahçe fan shouted as Hacıosmanoğlu was responding to reporters’ questions, he turned to the fan and said “Go ask your team’s president,” which triggered an outburst of anger from fans against him.

Police resorted to pepper spray to quell the group of supporters besieging Hacısomanoğlu’s car, according to a report from daily Hürriyet.

Fenerbahçe yesterday issued a written statement on its website and condemned the Trabzonspor head for “provoking fans.”

According to the team, Hacıosmanoğlu violated the entrance and leaving protocols of the stadium and caused the events and he then “reviled the team and its fans.”

No goals

Fenerbahçe huffed and puffed but failed to blow down Trabzonspor’s house in this week’s marquee Spor Toto Super League matchup, as the Yellow Canaries were made to settle for a 0-0 draw at home by a resilient Trabzon in the latest edition of a fiery rivalry.

Fener was looking to stretch its winning run to six following an opening-day loss to Konyaspor, but a combination of poor finishing, last-ditch tackling and heroics from Trabzon goalkeeper Onur Kıvrak ensured the game remained goalless.

The Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe derby is routinely cited as one of the world’s most passionate and bad-blooded derbies, but there are arguably few current matchups in Turkey that can boast the same level of hostility as a meeting between Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor. While the clubs have a rivalry dating back more than three decades to the Black Sea outfit’s glory years, when it won six titles in nine seasons, their undisguised distaste for one another stems from the end of the 2010-11 season, when police alleged that several matches were rigged during Fenerbahçe’s improbable march to the title, which they pipped Trabzon to on goal difference.

Several arrests were made, and while UEFA ultimately banned Fener from the Champions League for the season – inviting Trabzon to take their place instead – Turkish authorities eventually decided that while attempts to fix matches were made, “they were not reflected on the field.”

Steadfastly refusing to accept the judgment, Trabzonspor supporters and officials have led an increasingly quixotic quest to be recognized as the legitimate champion for the 2010-11 season, further irritating the “Republic of Fenerbahçe.”

Seating issue

Newly elected Trabzon chair İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu has devoted himself to the mission of bringing the lost trophy to the Black Sea, earning himself the wrath of the Fenerbahçe board. While club presidents often sit beside each other when their respective teams meet, Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım refused to sit with Hacıosmanoğlu in the VIP box for the night’s game.

The eagerly awaited match was close to kicking off with a goal within the first 100 seconds, as Fenerbahçe’s Swedish midfielder Samuel Holmen fierce shot seemed destined to open the scoring, only for Trabzon’s Onur Kıvrak to turn the strike out for a corner.

The early action, however, was a false dawn for the Yellow Canaries, as their subsequent efforts to find an opening ended in repeated failure. The club took advantage of Trabzon’s exertions on Oct. 3 during the latter’s 3-3 Europa League draw at home to Lazio by frequently working itself into the guests’ final third, but a lack of incision snuffed out a number of opportunities.

Zokora targeted again

In the meantime, Fener’s supporters made their hostility known for Trabzon’s Ivorian midfielder Didier Zokora, who was at the center of a racism row with Fener’s Emre Belözoğlu – Turkish football’s “problem child” – in the 2011-12 season, every time he gained possession.

Trabzonspor’s game plan was largely evident from the get-go, with the Black Sea Storm attempting to soak up pressure and hit their hosts on the break. The club failed to threaten in the first half, although Brazilian midfielder Paulo Henrique had a long-range sight at goal after dribbling his way into danger, only to see his flash wide.

Fener went even closer than before with 10 minutes to go, as Onur watched as Webo’s rasping volley hit the crossbar.

Sow had one more chance in the last minute of injury time to snatch a winner only for his opportunistic bicycle kick to fly over Onur’s bar.