Greetings Kankas and Kankies.
This will be a first for The Round Ball in Ankara and an historic moment in its existence.
As a firm supporter of The Anti-X Group of ANKARAGUCU supporters and a fanatical opponent of the `Big 3` Istanbul teams, you have never ever heard me say anything positive about any of them. However, I have to break my golden rule today and say something positive about the Besiktas supporters.
You will recall that Besiktas played hosts to Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) on 19 October at the Inonu Stadium in Istanbul. I watched the 2nd half of that match on TV, and along with everyone else, was impressed by the standard of footie served up by Spurs. I was even more impressed at the end of the match when the Besiktas supporters applauded the Spurs players off the pitch. Remember, Spurs won 2-0.
In this morning's Hurriyet there was a letter from Willie McDougall (UEFA Security Officer) to Besiktas Football Club expressing his thanks and appreciation for the behaviour and attitude of the Besiktas fans.
Praise of this nature from UEFA officials is rare and Besiktas have certainly earned lots of credit for the future.
It is not often supporters receive praise from the Footie Authorities, press, and even this blog, so this is a refreshing turn of events.
So, well done from me Besiktas supporters and I hope other teams in Turkey and Europe will copy you. Stranger things have happened !!
Let's hope that the Spurs supporters are equally sporting when Besiktas visit White Hart Lane in the future.
Before closing, I can recall one other similar occasion back in 1987/88 when Hibernian played Aberdeen in the League Cup Final. Aberdeen played very well that day and won the match 3-0, however, Hibs never gave up and chased everything for 90 minutes, even though they knew Aberdeen were the better team. At the end of the match, the Hibs fans applauded both teams and wouldn't let the players go down the tunnel until they had finished. I was proud of the Hibs supporters that day.
All the best from Eski Kanka Jim (in sporting mood !!)