Turkish champions Fenerbahce played Manisaspor in front of women and children only after men were banned as part of a plan by Turkey’s Football Federation (TFF) to stamp out hooliganism.
The TFF initially ordered Fenerbahce to play their first two games of the season in an empty stadium after fans stormed the pitch during a pre-season friendly against Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk but then had a change of heart.
Teams whose fans exhibit disorderly behavior are now only allowed to admit women and children under the age of 12 and about 41,000 of them turned out to see Tuesday’s match.
The more familiar chants were replaced by high-pitched screams as the women and children cheered with excitement every time the home team approached the penalty area, even if the chance of a goal was remote.
Before kick off, players from both teams hurled flowers at the crowd and applauded their new supporters.
“I will remember this night forever. It’s not always that you see so many women and children at a game,”
Fenerbahce captain Alex de Souza said.
Static and disturbance
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