There must be consequences!

Updated: April 24, 2018

Tomorow, Wednesday, the TFF dicipline commision (PFDK) will announce their decision on the incidents of the Fenerbahç-Beşiktaş semi-final in the Turkish cup last Thursday.

For those of you who missed it, at a scoreline of 0-0 the match was stopped for a third time around the 60-minute mark because Fenerbahçe fans continued to bombard the Beşiktaş players with objects from the stands.
The match had already been stopped twice previously in the first half and any attempt to calm down the hostile home crowd by their own players (their captain Volkan Demirel stept up to try and calm their fans on both occassions) were in veign.Şenol Güneş suffered a mild concussion and needed to get 5 staples in his scalp to close the wound following being hit by a wayward object thrown from the Fenerbahçe stands. In fact, things only escalated when the match was stopped for a third time after Beşiktaş reserve goalkeeper Tolga Zengin got in to a verbal fight with the fans near the dugout after they had repeatedly insulted his diseased mother. During these incidents Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş was hit by an object on atleast two sepperate occassions, which required him to have an open head wound stitched up.

The referee, Mete Kalkavan, decided that the conditions were no longer safe and sent the Beşiktaş team off the pitch back in to the locker room. But while entering the corridor the Beşiktaş staff were attacked by Fenerbahçe stadium staff members as caught on camera, after which two staff members suffered facial lacerations.

After roughly half an hour it was decided that the match would be abandoned as the conditions within the stadium were deemed unsafe by the referee in charge of the match.

Who is responsible and match fallout

Şenol Güneş suffered a mild concussion and needed to get 5 staples in his scalp to close the wound following being hit by a wayward object thrown from the Fenerbahçe stands.

Fenerbahçe issued a public statement following the incidents in which, instead of condemning the actions of their fans and taking responsibility, pointed their fingers at Beşiktaş and their players for what happened.

While both Tolga Zengin and Mustafa Pektemek were clearly caught engaging in a verbal war of words with the fans near the dugout, the match at that point had already been stopped 3 times without any form of provocation by the Beşiktaş players.Erdinç Gültekin (Besiktas staff) after being assaulted by Fenerbahçe stadium staff in the corridor. In fact, Fenerbahçe were in a great position. After Ryan Babel’s opening goal in the 9th minute was wrongfully ruled offside and Pepe received a direct red card in the 30th minute, Fenerbahçe had the advantage. As the previous match at Vodafone Park ended in a 2-2 draw, Fenerbahçe were virtually through to the finals of the Turkish cup on away goals as the score remained 0-0. Despite Beşiktaş still controlling the game with 10-men and still managing to create danger, Fenerbahçe had the man advantage and only needed to survive 30-something minutes to secure their spot in the Turkish Cup final.
So why did their fans cause this match to get abandoned? After repeatedly being warned by the referee mind you. Why hurl carkeys, housekeys, coins, lighters and other objects at Beşiktaş players whenever they are set to take a corner? Beşiktaş had already received 4 corners in the first half, every one of which was met by a rain of objects by their fans. The match was stopped twice, why continue to do so in the second half when your team has the advantage?

This would seem strange to anyone, stupid even, dumb. The only thing they’re doing is harming their own team, why were their fans so blinded with hatred and oblivious to what this would eventually lead to?
For that we really need to go back several motnhs, to the start of the season. When Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman was appointed.

Erdinç Gültekin (Besiktas staff) after being assaulted by Fenerbahçe stadium staff in the corridor.

Kocaman has seemingly made it his personal mission to demonize Beşiktaş and make them public enemy number one since the very beginning of the season. For reasons unkown Aykut Kocaman has repeatedly talked about Beşiktaş, Beşiktaş players and so on. This would be fine if he did this only right before or after a match with Beşiktaş, but no. Kocaman had already started this at the very beginning of the season, even before the two teams met for the first time this season on matchday 6.
He continuously spoke about referee decisions in Beşiktaş matches, cards that should have been given or should’ve had a different colour in his mind. Almost like a pundit on Beyaz Futbol or any other controversial football talkshow. At one point it seemed as if Aykut Kocaman was talking more about Beşiktaş than his own team.
In truth Aykut Kocaman has been campaigning the entire season against Beşiktaş, trying to create a common enemy and unite Fenerbahçe’s fanbase. Why? Probably to distract them from his own ineptitudes. It’s no secret that in his previous spell at the club the Fenerbahçe fans have been very critical of his choices and they still are, but by creating a common enemy to distract the fans from his position he has now caused a fierce hatred among certain sections of his fanbase.
The Fenerbahçe v Galatasaray rivalry is always touted as “the biggest rivalry in football” and certainly Turkey. But while Galatasaray has been top of the table for almost the entire season, while Galatasaray should be Fenerbahçe’s main focus in the title race. Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman and Fenerbahçe boardmembers only seem to care about Beşiktaş. What’s up with that?

It again is no secret that Beşiktaş have struggled in the league this season, after an amazing European Champions League campaign, Beşiktaş dropped many points in the league and have basically been caught on the back foot the entire domestic campaign.
So really, if Fenerbahçe are looking to win the title, shouldn’t they be focussed on themselves and their biggest rival instead of Beşiktaş who have been in third place for most of the season?

There is only one choice

Tomorow a decision will be made. And really there is only one right decision to be made.

Following incidents with Konyaspor and Beşiktaş fans during the Turkish Super Cup at the start of the season, Beşiktaş were punished with 1 match behind closed doors and Atiker Konyaspor were punished with 5 matches behind closed doors. The incidents there probably should have also led to the match being abandoned, but atlaest no players or staff got hurt. Therefore it seems quite clear that Fenerbahçe should receive a punishment atleast as severe as Atiker Konyaspor did: a minmum of 5 matches behind closed doors.

As for the Turkish cup semi-final itself. again there is only once choice: a 3-0 forfeit win to be awarded to Beşiktaş.

What other option is there? Play the remaining 30 minutes with 11 vs 10 at a neutral grounds without fans? That only favours Fenerbahçe, does it not? Despite being down to 10-men, Beşiktaş were taking the fight to Fenerbahçe, their game and flow got disrupted by the fans, not Fenerbahçe’s.

Fenerbahçe needs to be punished, it’s that simple, the club refused to take responsiblity, in fact it has only talked about a conspiracy against them. It has only tried to justify and shift the blame. The club hasn’t responded as it should have, they have only continued to rile up their fanbase even more. In fact, next season’s edition of this match is at risk too by the way Fenerbahçe have handled this.

Adding insult to injury, Fenerbahçe played a home match in the league last night against Antalyuaspor and for the full 90 minutes of the game their fans cursed both Beşiktaş and in particular Şenol Güneş. And after the match, mister Aykut Kocaman even went as far as to say “Our fans were in great shape today”, he said that with an actual straight face, like some sort of sociopath.

There is only one choice, Fenerbahçe and their fans need to be severely punished. The Turkish Football Federation needs to make an example out of them and send a clear message that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated.

And frankly, Aykut Kocaman deserves to get reprimanded, as he is really the cause of all this hostility.

Finally, both Tolga Zengin and Mustafa Pektemek could expect to get a suspension aswell as they engaged with the fans in a verbal war of words aswell as Tolga assaulting a steward.

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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