Turkey witnessed a revolutionary football night, as Fenerbahce’s stadium was flocked by 45000 female and children fans, as Turkish Football Federation (TFF) banned male fans in an updated decision to let the game to be played behind closed doors.
Under new rules approved by TFF, only women and children under the age of 12 will be admitted to watch games free of charge involving teams which have been sanctioned for unruly behavior by their fans. On Tuesday evening, women queued up around Fenerbahçe Istanbul’s Sükrü Saracoglu stadium, some carrying babies in the team’s colors, many holding their children in hand, for an opportunity to watch their club for free. More than 45000 attendants wanted to witness the historic event.
Historic day for Turkish Football
Tuesday’s game in the Turkish Super League kicked off after Fenerbahce and Manisaspor players hurled flowers at the spectators. The visiting team was greeted with applause, instead of the usual jeering, which perplexed the footballers.
The visitors, Manisaspor midfielder Ömer Aysan said: “It was such a fun and pleasant atmosphere. At first we Manisaspor players couldn’t believe in what we were seeing and hearing”
Fenerbahçe captain Alex de Sousa expressed his fellings in the post-game conference: “This memory will stay with me forever. It’s not always that you see so many women and children in one game.”
Turkish Soccer punters : Turkey Football Federation’s decision became accidentaly one of the few good ones
The game revealed many interesting social realities for Turkey and Turkish Football. Turkey, a country where female rights have been outraged constantly and Turkish Football, having the lowest number in female attendancy have both seen a deep and frankly an unexpected change. Other than Fenerbahce fans wearing the colors of their team, many women were spotted among the rank wearing the jerseys of Fenerbahce’ archrivals Besiktas or Galatasaray. On a normal night this could end disastrous in terms of hooliganism, yet women showed the tolarance, men never even hope to have. TFF’s radical solution was applauded generally.
The game ended with a 1-1 draw and there was no winner, well except Turkish Football obviously.