Turkey takes security measures on football violence

Published 10.08.2017 23:28

Turkish authorities yesterday ordered arrests and stricter security measures at key football matches after last weekend's Super Cup was marred by a pitch invasion and ugly fighting between rival fans. Konyaspor defeated Beşiktaş 2-1 on Sunday to win the Super Cup, the annual curtain raiser to the season that brings together the winners of last season's Turkish Cup and Super League. But the match will be remembered more for the pitch invasion by thousands of fans that followed the game, with rival fans exchanging punches and flinging chairs across the turf. Television pictures showed security forces initially overwhelmed as the fans streamed onto the pitch.

Sports Minister Osman Aşkın Bak said after a special meeting with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül that in future only e-tickets would be sold for cup finals. Also matches would be subjected to a greater security analysis ahead of time, with the authorities giving them an 'A' 'B' or 'C' risk assessment level, he said. Soylu said particular attention would be put on provocations made on social media while top local officials would also not attend matches dressed in club regalia. "Our task is to ensure that the match passes in a gentlemanly fashion and everyone can enjoy it from the moment it starts," said Soylu.

"We remember the matches we went to in our childhood. The best gift we can pass on to our children is to watch games with this pleasure," he added.

Gül said arrest warrants had been issued for four individuals over the fighting and expressed confidence they would shortly appear in court. Meanwhile, Atiker Konyaspor and Beşiktaş were penalized over crowd trouble. The Professional Football Discipline Committee ordered Konyaspor to play their next five matches behind closed doors, while Beşiktaş were ordered the same for one match.

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