Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Pitch Invasion: Nigeria’s Osayi-Samuel Faces Lengthy Ban If…

 Nigeria international, Bright Osayi-Samuel, risks a ban if found guilty following a bust-up with Trabzonspor fans

The Turkish Football Federation announced on Monday that the defender had been listed among the three players who will appear at a disciplinary hearing of the TFF in the wake of the pitch invasion, which happened during a league game involving Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce on March 17.

The attack took place after the Fenerbahce players and coaching staff celebrated their victory, with the visitors goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic being punched in the face by a fan of Trabzonspor.

According to the disciplinary committee of the Turkish FA, players who were involved in the fight could be banned for three to five matches.

“Due to his (Osayi-Samuel) fight in the Super League match, he was imprudently referred in accordance with Article 45 of the Football Disciplinary Instruction. Players found guilty will be punishmed and banned for three to five matches,” the statement read in part.

Osayi-Samuel, 26, was captured in a viral video punching one of the supporters, who wore a mask and ran onto the pitch, while Dutch defender Jayden Oosterwolde was accused of kicking the same fan after tempers flared when supporters of Trabzonspor ran onto the pitch attacking players of Fenerbahce following their team’s loss.

Michi Batshuayi will also appear before the disciplinary body for hitting at another marauding fan with a spinned kick as opposition fans swarmed the visitors after the game along with two club employees “fighting”, the TFF said.

A Trabzonspor assistant coach will also appear before the disciplinary board.

Osayi-Samuel, however, took to his X handle, stating, “We only defended ourselves.”

Meanwhile, 13 Trabzonspor supporters have been arrested with five placed in pre-trial detention. It was the latest violent incident to affect Turkish football this season.

The championship was suspended for a week earlier this term when the president of Ankaragucu attacked a referee at the end of a first division match.

A number of Fenerbahce trips to Trabzon in recent times have also been marred by violence.

A 2016 game against Trabzonspor was abandoned in the closing minutes after an assistant referee was attacked by a home supporter.

The year before that the Fenerbahce team bus came under attack from a gunman en route to the airport on the way back from the neighbouring Black Sea city of Rize, leaving the driver seriously injured.

In 2014 a match between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce was called off at half-time after the Istanbul club’s players were pelted with objects thrown onto the pitch by home fans.

Trabzonspor, who won the Turkish title two years ago, also found themselves in the spotlight in 2015 when the club president locked the referee and his assistants inside the stadium overnight in protest at the decision not to award his team a penalty.

They were eventually released in the early hours of the following morning after a phone call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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