FANS GET AWAY DAYS BACK
Galatasaray are set to trade tackles with the Black Eagles – Besiktas – at their new home this weekend. The game is the first Istanbul derby in the new home of Besiktas – the Vodafone Arena.
The Spor Toto Super League is in its fifth week, and two of the most successful teams in history would go head to head. Besiktas enter in the game beaming with confidence after their 2-0 win at the Akhisar Manisa stadium last week.
Galatasaray beat Rizespor 2-0, and would be hoping to spoil the fun when they become the first opponents to play Besiktas in their new stadium. The game is one with many firsts already. Ali Palabiyik would officiate the game – his first derby of his career.
On both sides, many players would be playing their first derby. Another first is the fact that supporters of both sides will watch the game together after the Istanbul Provincial Security Board lifted a five-year ban on supporters of prominent football clubs.
The move to remove the five-year away match ban is aimed to reflect the spirit of unity after a failed coup this year. The ban used to prevent fans of major clubs like Galatasaray, Besiktas, Fenerbahce, Trabzonspor, and Bursaspor from travelling to see away games. This has been on for five years to forestall riot.
It meant that Fenerbache fans, for example, found it easier to buy tickets for international away games to see Robin van Persie away from home (which you can do through this link) rather than domestic games in their own home cities!?
About 2000 Galatasaray fans are expected to make the trip to the new Besiktas stadium. The Vodafone Arena has a capacity of 42,000. The last time the visitors were on Besiktas’ ground was in the 2010/11 season. Both teams have equal points, but Besiktas edge Galatasaray. The 2013 derby was abandoned as the game turned out to be violent. Fans invaded the pitch, clashing with security forces and riot police after a red card for Felipe Melo in the 92nd minute sparked the riot.