FIFA to hand out verdict on Istanbul mayhem
FIFA's disciplinary committee is finally set to deliver its verdict next week on the violence that overshadowed November's World Cup qualifying playoff between Turkey and Switzerland.india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 15:59 IST
FIFA's disciplinary committee is finally set to deliver its verdict next week on the violence that overshadowed November's World Cup qualifying playoff between Turkey and Switzerland.
Chaired by Bahrain's Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the five-man committee will hold a two-day meeting on Monday and Tuesday at FIFA's Zurich headquarters with any sanctions expected to be announced within the week.
Turkey won the game, played on November 16, 4-2 but went out of the World Cup on the away goals rule after losing the first leg 2-0 in Bern four days earlier.
Mayhem followed the final whistle as players and officials from both sides were involved in a mass brawl in the players' tunnel immediately after the game ended.
Swiss substitute defender Stephane Grichting came off the worst after receiving a kick in the groin that required hospital treatment, but five individuals have been charged for their actions.
The FIFA panel is also expected to consider crowd misbehaviour at the match— which included the throwing of objects at the Swiss bench— and mass whistling throughout the national anthems both in Istanbul and at the opening leg in Bern.
Eliminated by the Swiss for the 2006 finals, Turkey, who reached the semi-finals in 2002, could now also miss out on the 2010 finals should the disciplinary committee recommend the Turkish association's suspension from international football.
Turkish fears of a ban were raised when FIFA president Sepp Blatter warned of such a possibility in the days following the incident.
Lesser punishments could include a fine or an order for Turkey to play upcoming matches behind closed doors.
Five individuals have also been charged by the committee with Turkish players Emre Belozoglu and Alpay Ozalan, former Turkish assistant coach Mehmet Ozdilek, Swiss midfielder Benjamin Huggel and Swiss physiotherapist Stephan Meyer all under investigation.
Ozdilek resigned from his position after television pictures showed him attempting to trip Switzerland's Valon Behrami as the players left the pitch.
The same pictures then showed Huggel kicking out in retaliation at Ozdilek before stumbling— or possibly throwing himself— into Alpay.
Further individuals could be charged by the committee during next week's meeting.
Appeals can be made against any serious punishments handed down by the committee— firstly to FIFA's own appeals committee and finally to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.