The rivalry between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe will be taken to a top level on Saturday evening in the the title decisive game of the Turkish Super League to be played at Fener’s Saracoglu stadium. This is war not football although many claim the opposite.
Istanbul / NationalTurk – Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe ware ready to play the grand ‘Super’ final game of the Turkish Super League playoffs on Saturday evening. The one of the most historic matches in their century-old rivalry will be played under the stretchening shadows of Turkey match-fixing scandal and the aftermath of the penalty decisions for clubs, corruption in football, endless accusations from club executives, an incapable Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and his president. Many Turks desire and are happy the football season comes to an end, where events outside of the pitch shadowed football.
Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray : A game which stops the life in Turkey for 90 minutes
The two Istanbul clubs will be playing a game which is a winner-takes-all battle on Saturday, with the winning team going on to claim the Turkish league title for the 2011-2012 season. The championship trophy will go to Galatasaray in the Fenerbahce Galatasaray match will end in a draw.
Galatasaray leads the Spor Toto Super League championship playoffs, or Super Final, ( they finished the regular season 9 points ahead of Fenerbahce as leaders ) with 47 points, just one point ahead of defending champion Fenerbahçe, with his president Aziz Yıldırım going to watch the game from his prison cell. Five other of the club’s officials, including chairman Aziz Yıldırım, are among the 93 Turkish football club officials, players and coaches that were listed as suspects in the case, which alleged that several games were manipulated in last season’s championship. The case shook the whole club, especially after it was barred from playing in the Champions League by TFF.
Fenerbahce has momentum entering the all decisive Fenerbahce Galatasaray match
Fenerbahçe comes into the game with some momentum. According to the newly-implemented playoff rules, Galatasaray saw its points halved at the end of the regular season. Before the start of the playoffs, Galatasaray had 77 points, nine more than Fenerbahçe. But it was not starting the playoffs with 39 points, to Fener’s 34, that put Galatasaray in their current perilous position – a poor playoff performance did. However, Fenerbahçe has reason to believe that it is closer to the title as the match will be played at their home Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. The Yellow Canaries have built great pressure and have a clear advantage over Galatasaray at their home turf.
Galatasaray last won vs Fenerbahce in Kadıköy, on the Asian side of Istanbul, in 1999. The streak saw 10 consecutive losses in the last decade, but Galatasaray will draw hope from the fact that the last two Fenerbahce Galatsaray derbies at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium ended in a draw.
Galatasaray had the chance to virtually end the title race on the second match-day of the Super Final, after opening the post-season with a 2-0 win over another Istanbul rivals Beşiktaş, had they won over defending champion Fenerbahçe.
Galatasaray lost a game it largely dominated 2-1 at their own stadium, the TT Arena, and thus blew a chance to come into the last week without tension. Its erratic form continued with a goalless stalemate against hapless Trabzonspor and a 2-2 draw against Beşiktaş, who already had thrown the tovel. Had it won the two home games, Galatasaray could have taken this weekend’s Fenerbahce Galatasaray derby as an exhibition match. But now it will have to fight for the title. in front of 55000 angry Fenerbahce fans.
Nevertheless, leaders Galatasaray still believe it has the edge over fenerbahce. ‘ We have the advantage against Fenerbahce,’ Galatasaray’s right back Emmanuel Eboue stated. ‘ We will win the title even with a draw. So we need to be patient and play our own game.’ A draw would be enough for Fatih Terim’s charges, although history suggests this might be the best they can hope for: Galatasaray have not won at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium for 12 years. ‘ The season’s final awaits,’ said Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. ‘ It is a single match, a single chance. A point will be enough but we have never played for a draw. We’ll go there aiming for three points. It will be a hard match, in a hard atmosphere, so we will need cool heads.’
Fatih Terim’s 3 games ban is postponed after he suffered one game of that ban vs Trabzonspor last week. He will be at the bench in the Istanbul derby Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray. And it is another questionable decision from TFF.
Ambitious Fenerbahçe has been fighting for the big victory all along. Starting the season under the fog of the match-fixing scandal, the Yellow Canaries took this season as one big opportunity to clear its name.
Fenerbahce Galatasaray Istanbul Derby : Tensions are high in Istanbul and Turkey
Many regard this will be war not football whereas some others suggest it will be peaceful. Nomatter what the tensions are high and one senses it by just walking in the streets of Istanbul. The air tingles with suspense before the Fenerbahce Galatasaray game, self-acclaimed by Turks as ‘ World Derby ‘.
There are worries that there could be crowd trouble in the game, even though no away fans will be allowed at the game. Fener goalkeeper Volkan Demirel warned that extremities of support can backfire for the team. “We’ve already showed that we are a team, regardless of the title. But we should know to congratulate our rivals if we cannot win,” Demirel said. “They should cheer for us, and they should pressure the rivals, but in a way not to put us under pressure.”
Fenerbahçe fans showed their interest in the title game by selling out the tickets in less than an hour earlier this week. However, the national media has reported that tickets are now being sold on the black-market for as high as 10,000 Turkish Liras.
On Friday, the TFF announced that it would award the trophy to the winning team at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. After 40 rounds of a tumultuous football season, the winner will be crowned on Saturday, hopefully bringing the chaos to an end.
Turkey’s prime minister, who is tied to Istanbul’s Fenerbahce football club defended a decision by the country’s football federation to clear his club and 15 others of all charges of involvement in an alleged match-fixing scandal.