ISTANBUL: The ill-feeling between fans of Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor exploded into fan violence which forced Monday night’s league match in the Black Sea city to be abandoned at half-time.
Fenerbahce supporters blame Trabzonspor and antagonistic politicians for manipulating the long-running controversy over a matchfixing scandal which saw the Istanbul giants barred from European competition.
On arrival at the stadium the Fenerbahce team bus had had to run a gauntlet of attack by stone-throwing home supporters.
During the first half missiles – including bricks and a even a door knob – were thrown at Fenerbahce players. The match was halted in the 10th minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half and subsequently abandoned.
Some reports claimed one of the referee’s assistants had been struck by a missile.
Anger among Fenerbahce fans, at what they believe to be a conspiracy against their club, was fuelled by recent revelations of phone taps said to feature Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Fenerbahce, who were winning 1-0 at the time thanks to a goal from Emmanuel Emenike, top the league on 51 points, with their arch Istanbul rivals Galatasaray second on 48.