Istanbul lifts ban on away fans at local football derbies

  • AFP, Istanbul
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2016 22:55 IST
The ban had prevented fans of the three Istanbul giant sides -- Besiktas, Fenerbahce, and Galatasaray -- attending away games at their opponents’ stadiums in the city. (AFP Photo)

The authorities in Istanbul on Thursday lifted a five-year old ban on away fans attending football derby matches in the Turkish metropolis, state media said.

The ban had prevented fans of the three Istanbul giant sides -- Besiktas, Fenerbahce, and Galatasaray -- attending away games at their opponents’ stadiums in the city.

The lifting of the ban by the sports committee of the Istanbul governorate means that Galatasaray fans will be able to support their side on Saturday when their team visits Besiktas for an away clash, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

The lifting of the ban had been widely expected in a show of solidarity between the teams following the failed July 15 coup attempt which was foiled when thousands poured into the streets to support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The ban had been put in place to prevent crowd trouble at the keenly contested derby matches. But Turkish officials insist behaviour has improved since introducing a new fan ID system.

Turkish media reports said that 2,110 Galatasaray fans would be able to attend the match against last season’s champions Besiktas.

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