Turkish footballer walks off pitch in tears after fans' verbal abuse

Turkish footballer walks off pitch in tears after fans' verbal abuse

Turkish footballer walks off pitch in tears after fans verbal abuse

Trabzonspor winger Volkan Şen walks off the pitch in tears after receiving verbal abuse from his own side's supporters. AA photo

Trabzonspor winger Volkan Şen walked off the pitch in tears tonight after receiving verbal abuse from supporters, in Turkish football’s latest controversy.

The 26-year-old forward left the pitch crying in the 42nd minute of his team’s Spor Toto Super League game against Çaykur Rizespor, heading directly to the dressing room and refusing to return to the game.

Trabzonspor coach Mustafa Akçay then introduced veteran Frenchman Florent Malouda as a replacement.

Akçay has voiced support for the player, but controversial club chairman İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu has taken the opposite view.

The coach said Şen’s teammates applauded for 15 minutes as a supporting gesture for Volkan during the break. “This is a human job. We have a person with an emotional implosion here,” Akçay said after the game. “You could talk about discipline, but for me, respect for a human comes before discipline.”

Hacıosmanoğlu, however, said there was no longer any place for Volkan at Trabzonspor.
“It is impossible to condone fans swearing at a player, but I cannot accept a professional footballer leaving the pitch,” he said in a televised interview late tonight after the game. “You are not playing marbles in the street. There is no place for such behavior in our team.”

The club released an official statement condemning the incident the following morning, but also criticized the player.

“We condemn these people and have started legal procedures against those uncouth individuals who call themselves supporters,” the statement read. “However, [Volkan’s] behavior does not reflect either a professional footballer’s correct attitude or the values of Trabzonspor. Our board will decide on the issue later,” the statement said.

Trabzonspor went on to win the game 2-1, including a goal contribution from Malouda.

Volkan first made his big break as an explosive winger for Bursaspor some years ago, playing an integral role in the Crocs’ first-ever Super League title in 2010. He was signed by Trabzonspor in the summer of 2011, but recently fell out of favor, having failed to find consistent form.