A feminine touch
Turkey was in the news today for less than appeasing reasons. Last night at Elland Road, a minority of Manchester United fans taunted the Leeds supporters with a rendition of “always look for the Turk carrying a knife” (edited from original lyrics as fans often do!). This verbal attack, also visual by an odd flag pronouncing ‘Galatasaray’ or ‘Istanbul’. Naturally, both sides played a part, with a reminder of Munich in the Leeds’ repertoire.
Just up the road in Istanbul another footballing spectacle was catching worldwide attention. You’ve no doubt read earlier about the problems in the Turkish game. After the allegations facing Fenerbache and other instances of fans’ violence, it was expected that empty stadiums would be one form of punishment. The Turks however, brought us a novel approach, courtesy of our friends at the TFF including Cem ülkeroglu (Turkish Football Federation).
They opened the gates to last night’s game against Manisaspor, but only to — women and children under the age of 12. That’s right no men, the traditional dominant punter were not allowed into the Ground. It doesn’t stop there. All tickets were free of charge. A whopping 40,000 crowd attended the fixture! The singing and hospitality was more ‘lady like’ in tone and activity also.
Now that’s a turn up for the books. How can this impact on that Country’s sport which mirrors many of the problems that were former ‘evils’ of the British counterpart in former years?