Fans of fierce Turkish football rivals Galatasaray and Besiktas have caused outrage after rioting at a wheelchair basketball match between the two clubs.
Hooligans at Sunday’s game in Istanbul’s Ahmet Comert Sports Hall traded insults and sprayed fire extinguishers at each other. Ten hooligans were arrested after the clashes, which forced the game to be abandoned as the court was left littered with broken wheelchairs and shrouded in tear gas.
Even before the match began their had been a court invasion. Galatasaray were leading 31-26 when the game was eventually abandoned.
Police studied TV footage, which showed players covering their faces with their jerseys to avoid the tear gas, to identify the culprits, before arresting them on Monday.
Visiting fans of Galatasaray and Besiktas – along with Istanbul’s third big club, Fenerbahce – are banned from football and basketball matches between the sides, but the rule does not extend to other sports – such as wheelchair basketball.
Sedat Incesu, coach of the Galatasaray wheelchair basketball team, suggested the fact violence had now spread to his sport was terrible news for sport in Turkey.
‘If hooligans are now seen in wheelchair basketball stands then we have nothing else to say, it is over … Sports are now officially dead in this country,’ he said.
‘Besiktas supporters should not have been allowed into the stands. Who will pay the price for the injured athletes and supporters.’
Galatasaray and Besiktas hooligans in wheelchair basketball riot | Metro UK