Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Turkish, English FAs face charges for Istanbul brawl

REUTERS , NYON, SWITZERLAND

The Turkish and English Football Associations were charged by UEFA yesterday for the clash between their players at halftime during their European Championship qualifier in Istanbul on Oct. 11.

The charges will be considered by UEFA's Disciplinary Committee on Thursday.

The Turkish FA also faces an additional charge of failing to maintain order in the Sukru Saracoglu stadium where the match ended in a 0-0 draw, a result that was enough to see England qualify for next summer's finals.

UEFA have issued the charges after a review of video evidence, the match reports of the referee Pierluigi Collina and the match observer. No individual players have been cited.

UEFA spokesman Mike Lee told Sky Sports: "On the basis of all the evidence available, the official reports, the statements from the FAs and the video evidence, it was felt there was not sufficient evidence against any particular individual player for violent conduct, therefore there are no charges against individual players.

"These are general charges relating to the two FAs for improper conduct of the players."

Asked if it was now up to the English and Turkish FAs to deal with players if they have an issue with them, Lee said: "They have to deal first of all with the charges we have brought, which will be heard later this week.

"Whether the FAs wish to look at individual players that will be a matter for them because they will not be charged within UEFA's disciplinary process."

Lee said he expected the FAs to be fined if they were found guilty.

"It's not a matter for me to comment on or speculate but on the basis of all the evidence that has been seen, also considering the very important official reports we have, and also the limited number of previous cases relating to incidents in the tunnel, I think if they are found guilty we are looking at some sort of fine."

Video pictures of the fracas were in some ways inconclusive in that they do not show actual punches being thrown.

However they do show England players Emile Heskey, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and David James lunging towards their opponents and arms being raised.

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