Punishments for the handbags at 10 paces that occurred between Turkey and Switzerland after Turkey narrowly failed to qualify for the World Cup have been handed out, and they are pretty harsh. Six matches to be played at a neutral venue with no fans. BAM. 200,000 Swiss Francs fine. POW. Six match bans for Emre and Alpay. SOCK. Two match ban for Serkan Balci. OUCH. 12-month ban from footballing activities for trainer Mehmet Ozdilek. whimper.
Of course, the six match bans fit nicely as Turkey has six home qualifiers for the European Championship. It is certainly going to hurt the Turkish Football Federation, the fine plus no revenue for what would have been six full houses.
The punishments all seem a bit over the top to me but then again Turkey has been warned a number of times. A pretty good round-up of the punishments can be found in the Daily Telegraph here.
I've also found a blog where it is asked whether the whole thing was fair. It is an interesting read. The blog was written before the punishments were handed out but the points made still stand. In particular this line:
Blatter said this: "Something is going wrong in football. I've never seen anything like it..." Never seen anything like it ?!? You can't have watched much football, then, Sepp, me ol' mate.
As for Turkey's chances of qualifing for the Euro 2008, I'd still put money on Turkey. According to William Hill Turkey are now at 3 to 1, behind Greece and Norway. A lazy tenner might be on its way.
EDIT: I found another interesting take on the whole business here