Turkish fans riot over disputed penalty

Turkish fans riot over disputed penalty

DİYARBAKIR – Agence France-Presse
Turkish fans riot over disputed penalty

Supporters of Yeni Diyarbakırspor clash with Turkish riot police after a penalty decision by the referee in favor to Denizli Büyükşehir Belediyesi during Spor Toto Turkish 3rd league play off final football match between Yeni Diyarbakırspor vs Denizli Büyükşehir Belediyesi on May 18, 2015 in Diyarbakır. AFP Photo

Dozens of Turkish football fans clashed with police on May 18 after disputing the decision of the referee to award a penalty in a crucial lower-tier league game in the southeast of the country, an AFP photographer has said.

Police brought out riot shields and used tear gas and a water cannon to keep the fans at bay in the third division playoff clash between Yeni Diyarbakırspor and Denizli Büyükşehir Belediyespor in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır.

The match was then abandoned.

The trouble started in the 88th minute of the match when the referee, with the home side up 1-0 and sensing victory, awarded a penalty to the visiting Denizli, who duly converted the penalty in the pivotal end of season tie to level the game 1-1.

Incensed by the decision, Yeni Diyarbakırspor fans invaded the pitch and began attacking the referee and the visiting team.

Several people were reported to have been hurt in the ensuing chaos.

Turkish football has been seeking to restore its battered image by cracking down on crowd trouble, but flare-ups remain relatively common, especially in the lower divisions of the league.