Mon, May 14, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Galatasaray claim title, Fenerbahce supporters run riot

Reuters, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Fenerbahce supporters throw seats at a police officer after their team lost the Turkish championship to Galatasaray at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

Galatasaray won the Turkish league title for the 18th time after a 0-0 draw at archrivals Fenerbahce, while the home fans clashed with police after Saturday’s game.

In a highly charged derby that Fenerbahce needed to win to retain the championship, Galatasaray hung on against a more attack-minded home side as red cards reduced both sides to 10 men in the second half.

The former UEFA Cup winners are now level on 18 championships with Fenerbahce.

Galatasaray ended the four-way title playoffs with 48 points, one ahead of Fenerbahce. Trabzonspor were third and Besiktas fourth.

There was chaos after the match as Fenerbahce fans invaded the pitch and clashed with police.

Spectators also ripped up seats and threw them on to the playing surface. Galatasaray fans did not attend the match under a federation ruling.

Outside the stadium, police fired tear gas and water cannon as they clashed again with Fenerbahce supporters.

There were contrasting scenes elsewhere in the city at Taksim Square, where Galatasaray fans danced, lit flares and waved flags in the team’s red and yellow colors.

Coach Fatih Terim, in his third spell in charge, has led the club to the title one year after taking over from caretaker Bulent Under.

Necati Ates and Selcuk Inan topped the goal charts for Galatasaray this season with 13 apiece, while Swede Johan Elmander and Brazilian Felipe Melo also reached double figures.

The action on the pitch in Turkey has been reduced to something of a sideshow this season, with media attention focused on charges of match-fixing against 93 players and officials around the country, including Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim.

The match-fixing investigations led to the resignation of the Turkish Football Federation chairman, changes in regulations and volatility in the shares of clubs amid speculation over possible sanctions.

A disciplinary committee last week announced bans of between one and three years for 10 players and officials, but no action has been taken against any club.

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