Beşiktaş coach wounded by projectile, derby abandoned

Şenol Güneş was struck by a projectile during a Turkish Cup match, (AFP pic)

ISTANBUL: Şenol Güneş, the head coach of Turkish Süper Lig side Beşiktaş, was hospitalised on Thursday after being hit on the head by a projectile apparently thrown from the crowd in an away game at arch Istanbul rivals Fenerbahçe.

The match, the second leg of a Turkish Cup semifinal tie, was abandoned in chaos in the 57th minute after the incident, the latest burst of crowd trouble to hit Turkish football.

Turkish television pictures showed Güneş clutching his head in pain and bewilderment and falling to the turf after being hit by the projectile, which has yet to be identified.

Güneş, a former Turkish international goalkeeper who has led Beşiktaş to two consecutive league titles, was taken by his own medical staff to the changing rooms, where he received five stitches to the head wound.

He was later taken to hospital and pictures showed him being transferred on a stretcher. It was not immediately clear when he would be allowed to go home.

At the time the match was abandoned at Fenerbahçe’s Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in Istanbul, the score was 0-0 (2-2 on aggregate).

The incident happened after a row erupted between Fenerbahçe fans and Beşiktaş players on the bench.

Reports said that the Turkish Football Federation would later take a decision over the outcome of the match, which may now be replayed.

The match had already been halted for five minutes in the first half when projectiles where thrown at Beşiktaş players. Tempers had flared when Beşiktaş’ Portuguese defender Pepe was sent off for an ill-judged tackle.

Istanbul derbies represent some of the most intense football matches in Europe, and the clash between Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe in September was marked by five red cards and 12 yellows.

The incident adds to tensions as the Turkish league season heads to its climax, with all four major Istanbul sides – Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, and Başakşehir – all in contention for the title.