Amedspor’s president, Selahattin Yıldırım, announced on Monday that the football club will file complaints to international sporting federations UEFA and FIFA over the racist attacks the club’s players faced at a match on Sunday against Bursaspor.
Turkey’s 2nd League team from Kurdish-majority Diyarbakır (Amed) was attacked throughout the game. Supporters of Bursapor threw knives and bullets onto the pitch and displayed symbols designed to intimidate, related to extrajudicial killings and abductions that took place in the country’s southeast during the 1990s.
Following the tense match in Bursa, the team returned to Diyarbakır early Monday. Amedspor supporters gathered at the airport entrance to greet the players, but were kept back by police.
Yıldırım told reporters the team will apply to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to request disciplinary action against Bursaspor.
“Not only to TFF, we will also make the necessary applications to UEFA and FIFA,” Yıldırım said.
Diyarbakır is among the 10 provinces in Turkey massively affected by the 6 February twin earthquakes. Yıldırım reminded reporters that in previous matches elsewhere in Turkey, football fans chanted, “Do not feel cold Diyarbakır, we are with you,” referring to the freezing cold temperatures earthquake survivors endured throughout February.
Yildirim said unsuccessful attempts were made to pull the team off the pitch at the game in Bursa. Many on social media called on the football federation on Sunday to halt the game to prevent further escalation.
“In the first 15 minutes of the match clock, the game was played for less than one minute. Under conditions where neither the referee nor the players are safe, the match should not be played. There was a continuous need to make announcements and to intervene. The match should have been halted or it should have continued without audience after the stands were emptied. We got no results from all requests we raised,” Yıldırım said.
The president of the club said executives of various teams in the 2nd and 3rd league have contacted Amedspor to express solidarity since the incident.
“None of the teams in the Premiere League made contact,” Yıldırım added.