Fenerbahçe punished, six matches to be played with no fans

May 18, 2012, Friday/ 00:27:00

The Professional Soccer Discipline Committee (PFDK) announced that Turkish Super League football club Fenerbahçe will play its next six official home games behind closed doors due to the behavior of its supporters after final play-off match with Galatasaray.

The committee also issued a 21-day deprivation of rights and TL 15,000 fine for Galatasaray Chairman Ünal Aysal -- for its unsportsmanlike statement after Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe match. The same punishment was also issued to Galatasaray official Necati Demirkol for the same reasons.

After the final whistle that brought Turkish league championship to Galatasaray at the goalless derby match with Fenerbahçe, hundreds of Fenerbahçe fans occupied the pitch at their Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in İstanbul. Others broke off plastic chairs and threw them at police, who tried to use their shields to protect the players. Flares were also tossed at the police.

In response, police used pepper spray to disperse angry Fenerbahçe fans and evacuated the stadium as the players escaped to changing rooms along with police.

The fans also threw chairs and other objects at a corridor leading to the changing rooms. The clash followed a tense game during which referee Cüneyt Çakır booked several players and issued red cards to one player from each team.

Sports channel Lig TV said journalists, players and even policemen were also affected by the pepper spray. Some parents angrily reacted to the police after their children were affected.

Lig TV said some Fenerbahçe fans also clashed with police outside the stadium, throwing stones at a police vehicle that had a water cannon.

The fans also turned over two police vehicles and set them on fire in İstanbul's Kadıkoy district. Police and citizens nearby quickly put out the fire. The fans also turned over garbage cans and shattered shop windows, also leaving behind streets littered with fist-sized stones.

The pitch invasion and violence at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium blocked Galatasaray from immediately celebrating its 18th league title and lifting the Turkish Super League Cup. Authorities finally turned off the floodlights.

Galatasaray eventually returned to the field and received the trophy under the lights of television cameras -- soon after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is a member of Fenerbahçe's general assembly and a former football player, said the ceremony should be held on the pitch.

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