PLEASE NOTE: There has been a change in venue. I have updated all details and added a link to a map.
The Turkish Football Federation has seemingly forgotten that that we actually live in the capital of Turkey, the city that Ataturk chose as the place from which this country should be run. But when was the last time there was a full blown international football match here? I can't remember.
And so this week we finally have a chance to see some international footy. And not just any match but Turkey versus England in two friendly? matches of amputee football.
Let me give you a run down of the game (and please if any of the players read this and find that I get all my terms confused please don't take offence. I've been checking out a few Youtube clips of the way you guys play and I don't want to be in line for a crutch to the head).
So, assuming the apologies have been accepted, it seems players in the outfield must be missing a leg, or part of a leg, and the goalkeeper has to be missing an arm. Or something like that.
Besides that it looks like it is 100 percent football. As I said, I don't know the rules completely... ie I haven't checked out Wikipedia (I have now and wikipedia has bugger all about the game), but having taken a look at a few videos this doesn't seem like a bad spectator sport at all.
I have in the past seen a few news clips of amputee football on Turkish television from time-to-time. These would inevitably be footage of footy players showing great skills but the whole thing was ruined by violin music in the background which was designed to make us all feel so sorry for these poor people.
Bullshit. These blokes are bloody good athletes showing off some damn good skills and they certainly don't need to be patronised by the inclusion of some weepy music in order for us to respect them.
The friendly matches to be played this weekend are a warm up for the Amputee World Cup which will be played in Antalya in November.
Onto the details of the weekend matches. Two matches in fact.
Sunday May 27
Aktepe Stadium Kecioren
KO: 6 pm
Monday May 28
Aktepe Stadium Kecioren
KO: 6 pm
Bloody difficult to get to this place via public transport and it will cost a packet to go by taxi. So it looks like going by car is the only way to go. Directions-wise, drive as if you are going to the airport (via Ulus obviously and not on the ring road). Go through Ulus and on and on and at some stage you will have Altin park on your right. Just before the end of the park turn left onto 1. Caddesi (it is a major road). Follow 1st. Caddesi until it ends in a T-junction and take the right onto Kizlarpinari caddesi. Follow that for about 2 kms and then look out for another major intersection at which you will turn right onto Ozyurt Caddesi. About 500 metres later on your right will be 2. caddesi but by this stage you should have already seen the stadium itself.
You can probably get there a bit easier by checking out the map I've made (well, google made it) and printing it out.
Perhaps if people who are driving to the match could leave a comment here so that those who don't have a car can get a lift. I can help get people in touch until about Friday night. After that I will be unavailable.
So I urge all Kankas to get on down there and support Turkey. As far as I can see the English are pretty good at amputee football but hopefully our boys can put the boot up the Poms. I should also point out that according to the e-mails I've recieved these games are fully sanctioned by the English FA. The Turkish FA (The TFF) has put out a very small thing on their website but which gives no details.
From the e-mails that have been coming into my inbox it looks like the British Embassy will be getting their lot there. Time for us to make sure we outsing them.
My other suggestion is that considering the police will not be checking all supporters, take along a hip flask or two. I'd leave the flares though for the Galatasaray supporters.
And just top get you into the mood, check out the YouTube clip below.