Emotional Fenerbahçe fans gathered outside the house of Alex de Souza and protested Fener president Aziz Yıldırım after the club declared that it had parted ways with its captain and Brazilian star on Monday.
Istanbul / NationalTurk Sports – Fenerbahce fans chanted slogans such as ‘I love you Alex’ outside his door yesterday evening, hours after the Brazilian sent out a farewell message via his Twitter account.
A teary-eyed Alex de Souza then came out his house, saluting and thanking the crowd; intimate moments were to seen as Fener fans hugged their former captain, whose statue was erected by those very fans only 2 weeks ago. Alex de Souza was wearing a Fenerbahce scarf, while his son was wearing a Fenernahce jersey. One Fenerbahce fan took out a T-shirt emblazoned with Yıldırım’s face and burned it. The T-Shirt with Aziz Yıldırım printed on it was a token of support for the Fenerbahce chairmen, who was in jail over match-fixing allegetions for one year. He was released from prison only 2 months ago amid wild celebration by the very same fans who burn now Aziz Yıldırım T-shirts.
Fenerbahçe fans burned Aziz Yıldırım T-shirts at protests against their ‘hero’ of a chairman
Fenerbahçe fans snapped up the Yıldırım T-shirts earlier this year in support of the chairman after he was arrested pending trial as part of Turkey’s far-reaching match-fixing case. However, Yıldırım might have lost that support in one day with the Alex decision.
A chant ‘ We will betray those who betray Alex ‘ could be heard outside the Brazilian player’s house yesterday.
Fenerbahce manager Aykut Kocaman, who had a beleaguered relation with Alex, also got his share of protests from Fenerbahce fans. Fenerbahce fans invited Kocaman to resign after the loss to Kasımpasaspor. The invitations turned into a demand with the latest development in Alex event.
A few fans with jerseys of Fenerbahçe’s fierce rivals, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, could also be seen among the crowd.
Fenerbahce in crisis, legendary president slammed
Yesterday morning, Fenerbahçe declared that it had left the Brazilian player out of the squad indefinitely and that he would train with the reserves. A few hours later, Alex went to the club’s headquarters and reportedly asked for the annulment of his contract before announcing the decision via Twitter.
‘ I have ended my contract; it was the saddest signing of my life,’ Alex wrote on his Twitter account. ‘ Fenerbahçe has lost a player, but it has won a supporter. Thanks for everything,’ he added.
Although Fenerbahce’s most prolific player in the last 9 years, the 34-year-old fell out of favor earlier the 2012-2013 season after he took to Twitter after every match to criticize Fenerbahce manager Aykut Kocaman, who left him out of the squad to face Spartak Moscow in a Champions League first leg playoff match in August.
Aykut Kocaman had been stating at the start of new season that Alex’s playing time could be limited this year due to his advancing age.
Fenerbahce Crisis : Aziz Yıldırım’s reign over soon ?
Fans chanted against Kocaman in an Europa League game against Marseille 2 weeks ago after the Yellow Canaries from Istanbul were held back to 2-2 after ruining a 2-0 lead over the french champions. Although Alex de Souza had scored Fenerbahçe’s second in the game and played his best football of the season he was substituted by Aykut Kocaman with his team two goals up before Marseille’s late rally.
When substituted at halftime in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Kasımpaşa, instead of sitting next to the coach on the bench, Alex chose to sit in the stands in a move that was seen as a protest. It was later revealed though that Alex had asked the staff to sit in the stands next to Fenerbahce players who weren’t selected to 18 men match squad.
Some Turkish football pundits went far and said the reign of Aziz Yıldırım, arguably the most influental club president in Turkish football history, might come to a crushing end.
With 136 goals to his name, Alex de souza was just five goals shy of matching the Fenerbahçe record for league tallies. The current record is held by none other than the man most responsible for his departure, Fenerbahce coach Aykut Kocaman.
Earlier today, one Turkish daily reported that Aykut Kocaman had resigned from his post as Fenerbahce manager, but the news were denied by Fenerbahce board on the club’s website.