More Football MADNESS

18:24 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

So I think I may have jumped the gun in my earlier post about the football games that were winding up here.

This weekend was the final game of the season - there are no playoffs in the league here, league winner is the champion.

As it ended up, Galatasaray (#1) and Fenerbahçe (#2) were playing. There were separated by 1 point. If one team won, they won the league. If they had a tie, Galatasaray won by default because they had the most points. No extra time, no kick off. The end.

We went down to a restaurant in Bebek to watch the game with some friends. As we live on the European side, there tended to be more Galatasaray fans, but Paul is a Fenerbahçe supporter and I decided to cheer them on too because I always like an underdog win.

The madness is not because of the game itself - it wasn't fantastic play with lots of exciting goals and saves. In the end, no one even scored, although there was a player from each team ejected with a red card, and more yellow cards and "injuries" than I think I have ever seen in a football match before.

The real madness came after the game.

First off, the Fenerbahçe fans at the game REVOLTED. This confuses me too, because it is their own stadium, but they went crazy nonetheless. They threw things at Galatasaray players as they celebrated and exited the stadium, then they stormed the field and threw chairs, benches, trash cans and more at the riot police. I even saw one fan throwing the riot police shield back at the police. It seems more like a World Cup game than an end of the season playoff game.

Throughout the rest of Istanbul and Turkey, all the Galatasaray fans were celebrating. In Bebek, traffic was stopped with people yelling, waving flags, setting off flares, honking their horns. I think it may have been the biggest celebration I have ever seen.

Lessons learned? Turkey loves their football teams. Oh and make sure to only attend a game when you know your team will win!!

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