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Ugly scenes as Trabzonspor fans attack Fenerbahce players on the pitch

Turkish football is dealing with more fan-related drama after Trabzonspor supporters ran onto the pitch after their team's match with Fenerbahce on Sunday and attacked members of the away team.

The match itself finished in epic circumstances with former Chelsea striker, Michy Batshuayi, scoring a late winner for the visitors to complete a 3-2 victory. Afterwards, the Fenerbahce players gathered in the centre of the pitch to celebrate together which sparked furious and ugly scenes.

At first, just one supporter made it onto the pitch to approach the Fenerbahce players with former QPR man, Bright Osayi-Samuel seemingly his target. The pair tussled on the pitch, with the defender landing a punch on the supporter before stewards and other players were able to intervene.

Trabzonspor fans
Chaos reigned in the Turkish Super Lig on Sunday – Photo by Icon Sport

The incident sparked a mass pitch invasion with supporters coming to blows with several players including Batshuayi. Eventually, security managed to usher all the players and staff off the pitch before dealing with the pitch invaders but most of the damage had already been done.

This morning, Turkey's Interior Minister, Ali Yerlikaya, confirmed that 12 fans had been arrested. Prior to that, he released the following statement:

“It is never acceptable for violence to take place on football pitches – above all, sport is gentlemanship. An investigation has been initiated immediately to identify the spectators who entered the pitch and to investigate the incidents that took place at the end of the match.

Infantino slams Trabzonspor fans

Fifa president, Gianni Infantino has also come out to slam the incident, which is expected to get both clubs in serious trouble. Infantino said:

“I have said it before, and I will say it again – without exception, in football, all players have to be safe and secure to play the game which brings such joy to so many people all over the world. I call on the relevant authorities to ensure that this is respected at all levels and for the perpetrators of the shocking events in Trabzon to be held accountable for their actions.”

In response, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) have said they will down hard on those involved and that “necessary criminal sanctions will be imposed”.

The incident is just the latest in a long list of controversial issues that the TFF have had to contend with this season. Most notably, a club resident punched a match official in the face in December which led to a suspension of all Super Lig fixtures.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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