Fenerbahce Make Headlines With Strange Protest

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Fans in the wider world of football will know that the beautiful game can often throw up some very unexpected stories, and this can happen when clubs, managers or even players, dig their heels in when they believe they have been treated unfairly (irrespective of whether an individual fan would agree with their standpoint or not).

Turkish side Fenerbahce have become the latest to do just that.

In their Super Cup tie with fierce rivals Galatasaray at the weekend, for reasons that are probably best explained by them, they fielded an Under 19 side who promptly walked off the pitch after one minute of the game had been played, and after they had just fallen 1-0 behind in the tie.

Their reason for this decision was grounded in the fact that they felt they had been treated unfairly as they had asked for the game to be postponed owing to their Europa League quarter final clash against Greek side Olympiakos on Thursday, and this was obviously dismissed by the football authorities in the country because a Sunday/Thursday schedule split between domestic and European competition is absolutely normal in the modern game. With an added call for a foreign referee to officiate the game over perceived Turkish bias to their opponents.

With club president Ali Koc stating earlier on Sunday that ‘It is time for Turkish football to be reset’, many neutrals will think it was a novel way of trying to prove that point as in forfeiting the game, their opposition went on to celebrate their win.

Fenerbahce were defiant though, stating after the game they took to the field ‘not to win but to defend the truth’ and insisted that they would ‘continue to stand tall’.

There is a more recent history here though, not least that two of their players were sanctioned following the Trabzonspor clash on March 17, and they had threatened in response to quit the Turkish Super Lig, but club members ultimately voted against that motion.

Whilst Fenerbahce fans might be fully on board with their behaviour, many others will not be as the game was taking place 1000 kilometres from Istanbul in Sanliurfa which was devastated by an earthquake last year and cost the lives of 53000 people, and proceeds from the game were going to victims.

Whilst they will rightly still benefit, there will be those who argue they may have benefited more had the game been played to the completion and half time and full time proceeds could have been factored in.

This is very unlikely to be the end of this spat though.

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