All peoples are brothers,’ Beşiktaş’s Çarşı group says ahead of Besiktas Maccabi Tel Aviv Europe League clash, which attracts much interest given the recent circumstances in Turkey Israel relations.
The game between Maccabi Tel Aviv – Beşiktaş is overshadowed by the political tension between Israel and Turkey, which escalated after Ankara expelled Israeli diplomats over a recent U.N. report on an Israeli raid against a Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza last year. Israeli commandos killed nine activists in the attack, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently called the raid a “cause for war.” Since the Davos affair, then after the Mavi Marmara case, Turkey and Israel have some issues unresolved.
However the football pitch isn’t the place to resolve these problems. Any racist gestures toward Israeli football club Maccabi Tel Aviv by Beşiktaş supporters “would hurt” the Istanbul club, the leader of Besiktas highly-anticipated and sophisticated Çarşı fan group expressed ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League clash between the Turkish and Israeli clubs.
Besiktas Maccabi Game should be and is nothing more than a football game
Sports and politics don’t mix — as far as Beşiktaş is concerned. And that’s exactly what the Black Eagles, as Beşiktaş is nicknamed, will prove to Maccabi Tel Aviv when they welcome the Israeli football team to Fiyapı İnönü Stadium in İstanbul on Thursday evening.
“Beşiktaş fans are people of reason,” says Alen Markaryan, the leader of ”Carsi Group”, who is of Armenian descent, but no one really cares about where he is from. He added that Beşiktaş often found itself in “strange” fixtures, making the fans familiar with such circumstances. It is clear that there is going to be tense atmosphere. There may be some political messages – not racist ones of course – and there may be some reactions from Beşiktaş fans,which include the situation between two nations. But that’s all i think, nothing more harmful, as i expect.” he went on.
Besiktas Fans are calm and too sophisticated to cause any problem
Meanwhile Besiktas fans are calm and just eagerly waiting for the game between Beşiktaş, and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Eagerly only because they are veyr hungry for what Besiktas will shov them, bad results or a magnificent result..It does not matter as long as the team shows fighting spirit.
Although the assurances given by the Turkish side, security is still a problem for Tel Aviv outfit. Before the weekend, board made a decision to not to take the players, who are still serving for the Israeli army, to Turkey. “We are still waiting for the special permission, otherwise, they are not going to be able to play, because we are told that military officers are not allowed to fly to Turkey.” said a member of Maccabi board, to the local newspaper. Is that the only problem? Not, of course.
Besiktas Istanbul Maccabi Tel Aviv – Not Turkey vs Israel
There is another case of course. Nearly 200 Maccabi fans bought tickets for the important match between Maccabi and Besiktas. Despite the “warning” declaration of Beşiktaş board, Suat Kılıç, Turkish Minister of Sports, made a statement about away fans case, using the phrase; “Maccabi Tel Aviv and their fans will be well received in Turkey. I promise that everybody will return home safely.”Israel government also cancelled some Turkey tours.
There were some rumours ongoing about the request from Maccabi Tel Aviv board, to make UEFA to let the game play in some other turf other than Istanbul, because of the ‘unknown ‘ uncertain conditions. Maccabi board, have already made a statement about this rumour, explaining that they did not make a request to UEFA, about the match, or anything. But still, Suat Kılıç, explains that the match is going to be played in Turkey, no changes. If there is no request, why would a minister make an explanation like that? one thinks…Maccabi Tel aviv, citing the political tension between Israel and Turkey, had tried to fan a fire that does not exist by requesting that this evening’s match be moved to neutral ground. May be Besiktas Fans will criticize solely that.
In 2008, Beşiktaş hosted Hapoel Jerusalem, in ULEB Basketball Cup, after a 15 points margin defeat in the first match. It was a harder test. The situation wasn’t like this, but still it was a hard atmosphere. If some fans want to do something to the players, it is easier in a basketball match, compared to a football stadium. Nothing bad happened that day and Beşiktaş fans have passed the ‘test’ there.
Beşiktaş fans are passionate, maybe more then any others, they try to do anything to break the morale of the opponent. But after the match, it was Man United who took the applauds, or Porto, after beating Besiktas at Inönü Stadium.
These 200 Maccabi Tel Aviv fans announced that they would come to the match with gifts of candy in an effort to ease the tensions between the countries. ”We would also like to offer them gifts if security forces allow us,” fan leader Alen Markaryan told reporters. “There are suggestions [within the Çarşı Fan group] that we should offer them Turkish delight and baklava.”
The Besiktas Çarşı group had earlier released a statement about the Maccabi Tel Aviv game, saying “all peoples are brothers.”
Turkish Sports Minister Suat Kılıç held a news conference that same day to reassure the Maccabi entourage of their safety. The match will be played with the “highest level of Turkish hospitality and Israeli players will ‘safely’ return home,” Kılıç said. There is another case of course. Nearly 200 Maccabi fans bought tickets for this match. Despite the “warning” declaration of Beşiktaş board, Suat Kılıç, Turkish Minister of Sports, made a statement about away fans case, using the phrase; “Maccabi Tel Aviv and their fans will be well received in Turkey. I promise that everybody will return home safely.”
Beşiktaş on Tuesday urged its fans not to cause any trouble. Board member Orhan Saka said fans should behave within the rules of “fair play.” He warned that Beşiktaş could face punishment for unruly behavior.
For his part, Beşiktaş’s Portuguese stand-in coach Carlos Carvalhal stated, “All along we have been wanting to play football and we have nothing to do whatsoever with politics.”
The match will therefore take place on Thursday as scheduled because Beşiktaş has nothing against Maccabi and Turkish people also have nothing against Israelis. The Black Eagles have trained very hard for this match, in which pride and prestige are also at stake. Beşiktaş stand-in coach Carvalhal, rightfully so, warned his players against complacency.
Besiktas Maccabi Game Teams News
“Maccabi Tel Aviv is a difficult and well organized team which eliminated [Greek side] Panathinaikos in the previous round in the qualifiers,” he said. “For us, the most important thing is that we will be playing in front of our home crowd. And the support we get from them will certainly improve team performance,” he noted.
Injured veteran Spanish player Guti Hernandez, energetic German midfielder Fabian Ernst and teen center back Atınç Nukan missed Tuesday’s training. Fabian Ernst and Atınç could be fit by match time but Guti’s presence on the pitch, suffering from severe waist pain, is very doubtful.
Apart from injuries, the Black Eagles have problems with concentration, caused by the ongoing match-fixing scandal in the country in which Beşiktaş has also been incriminated. The 2-1 away loss to Eskişehirspor on Saturday was clear proof of this lack of concentration.