XT Post Number King
Teams: INTER & Tottenham Hotspur
Turks Accuse England Of Exploiting Crowd Trouble
Turkey - England | Latest News | News Archive
Turkey in less troubled times, at last summer's World Cup (Allsport)
06/13/2003. Turkey coach Senol Gunes has further soured the relationship between Turkey and England by accusing the FA of using Turkey's crowd troubles during their defeat of Macedonia as an excuse to get October's Euro 2004 showdown with England played at a neutral venue.
In an inflammatory and somewhat paranoid statement, Gunes said England were afraid to play that vital game in Turkey, and were trying to take advantage of the crowd problems.
Uefa, European soccer's governing body, are investigating the disturbances that greeted Macedonia's second goal, when Turkish fans threw plastic water bottles and other objects onto the pitch. Turkey could be fined or ordered to play their next game behind closed doors, in an empty stadium without the support of their vociferous fans.
"England's biggest fear is to play the second match in Turkey," Gunes said. "It's a very ugly thing if you make a big deal out of this event, use referees, lobbies and Uefa in the name of competition. It shows the level England has fallen to."
The comments are ridiculous because although the FA are justifiably concerned about protecting their players after what happened on Wednesday, Uefa themselves have initiated the investigation without any prompting from London.
Macedonia's midfielder Sasko Lazarevski was struck on the head by an object after team-mates unfurled a Macedonia flag following a goal by Artim Sakiri that put the visitors 2-1 ahead within seconds of Turkey having equalised. The Turks eventually won 3-2.
Turkish riot police had to hold up shields to protect Macedonia players taking corner kicks.
The public address system called for calm in the stadium, warning about possible consequences at Euro 2004 qualifying match against England in October, though reports suggest that the stadium announcer was inflaming rather than calmiomg the situation with some comments.
That game in Turkey is expected to decide who will qualify automatically for the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal, though the other team could still get there via the play-offs.
Uefa spokesman Mike Lee said that the governing body would consider whether or not to penalise Turkey at a meeting next month.
"From what we've seen so far we think there's a basis for disciplinary proceedings," he said. "There were missiles thrown. That is absolutely a breach of regulations."
Following a stormy match between Turkey and England at Sunderland in April, England were fined and warned by Uefa about the behaviour of their fans and players. To avoid clashes between rival fans in Istanbul in October, the English FA had, before Turkey's game with Macedonia, already declined to take up their allocation of tickets for the game.
The venue for this match has not yet been announced.
My heart = INTER...No Matter Win or Lose...
Zanetti : I still remember my first day at Inter. I arrived with a plastic bag with my boots inside and I crossed the crowd of fans who were asking who I was. That's where it all started.....