Super Final inventors also share blame for problems

Super Final inventors also  share blame for problems

Galatasaray players hold an irate Beşiktaş supporter who invaded the pitch during the final minutes of the Super Final opener at Fiyapı İnönü Stadium on Monday.(PHOTO AA, OKTAY ÇİLESİZ)

April 19, 2012, Thursday/ 16:08:00/ OKAN UDO BASSEY

Temperamental Fenerbahçe leftie Emre Belözoğlu has been referred to the Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK) for necessary action for using a racial slur against Ivory Coast midfielder Alain Didier Zokora Deguy during the Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray Super Final at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in İstanbul last Saturday.

The Beşiktaş club faces severe penalties and heavy fines for the misbehavior of its fans during the Super Final against leader Galatasaray at Fiyapı İnönü Stadium on Monday evening. The irate Beşiktaş fans not only swore at and cursed Galatasaray players, they also threw coins, plastic bottles and other projectiles at them.

Things fell apart towards the end as several Beşiktaş fans invaded the pitch and threatened Galatasaray players. These are things no one wants to see at our football stadiums. But, unfortunately, they are happening now.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) “legalized” vulgarity at stadiums during the Super Final by deferring punishments for swearing and cursing during the Super Final to next season. But it cannot just defer pitch invasion or racial slur penalties, meaning Emre and Beşiktaş will surely get the stick. The saddest thing is that more trouble lies ahead in the remaining five tense Super Final matches.

Then who is to blame for all this? The answer is the inventors of the enigmatic Super Final. In a desperate bid to throw the match-fixing scandal under the rug, the TFF devised a stratagem. The 2011-12 champion will not be the team that finishes first at the end of the regular season in the Spor Toto Super League but the one that wins the playoff among the top four teams.

It is almost a foregone conclusion that the “Big Four” -- Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and İstanbul outsider Trabzonspor -- generally finish in the top four. It is also an undeniable truth that there is no love among these teams.

Matches among these teams have become something akin to war. There is a heavy presence in the city centers and in and around the stadiums whenever these four teams play against each other. And to prove how dangerous and tense these matches are, the TFF has banned opposing fans from attending matches this season.

Good enough, but creating a Super Final that again brings these “enemy” teams against each other for six weeks at the end of a tedious regular season just does not make any sense. It has only helped to fan the flame of hatred and increase the already existing animosity among these teams.

Whose idea was this Super League thing? It is not practiced in England, the cradle of football, or in Spain, where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo continue to tantalize fans, or in Italy or the Netherlands or Portugal or any top footballing nation in Europe -- because they know it is all wrong and fruitless.

The current TFF, headed by Yıldırım Demirören, should know that the Super Final only helps to create problems, nothing else, and should therefore abolish it at the end of this season next month.

Bülent Korkmaz: I feel sorry for Emre

Karabükspor coach Bülent Korkmaz has said he feels sorry for Fenerbahçe’s Emre Belözoğlu, who faces penalties from Turkey’s football authority if he is found guilty of using a racial slur against Trabzonspor’s Didier Zokora during Sunday’s game.

Korkmaz and Belözoğlu - - often referred to simply as “Emre” - - were former teammates at Galatasaray and part of the squad when the team won the coveted UEFA Cup - - now the Europa League - - in 2000. “Off the pitch, Emre is an amazing person,” he said in an interview with football website, adding, “As a dear brother of mine, I feel sorry that he is in such a situation.” The young coach said things can be different on the pitch and that he does not know what Emre goes through while playing.

The decision of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) is awaited. According to the TFF’s disciplinary regulations, Emre faces suspension from four to eight games if found guilty of using a racial slur. İstanbul Today’s Zaman


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