In the build up to last night's bore of a match an NTV commentator on location somewhere near Stamford Bridge was forced to explain why there were so many Fener fans on the streets and not inside the stadium. He said:
"Because in England they do not have the culture of going into the stadium many hours before the match."
Not sure how many matches the bloke has actually been to in Turkey as there is only one reason why people go to the football early in this country and that is because of the absolutely pathetic ticketing system i.e. one little box selling tickets, the extremely slow gate system - 30 seconds at least per person is pathetic - and the fact that seats aren't numbered.
I have no real hassle with not having reserved tickets but I would like to see some improvements in the other two sections.
It has nothing to do with "culture" (which in the context that the bloke used actually meant something like "practice") but everything to do with the way us fans are treated like dirt...
The match itself
I'm not even going to talk about the absolute and utter rubbish that was the commentary on Star TV this evening. For our American readers just think how Fox News might call a boxing match between Bush and Clinton. I'm used to all the "hadi Fener", "taç bizim", "bravo Volkan", "maalesef gol" (I did like the last one though), but it was Fener coach Zico who blew me away at the end of the match.
Star TV had Zico on his own (with only an interpreter). "Your starting line up failed?", "Richards Colin Kazim Kazims Kazim had a poor game?", "Is there a problem with Kezman?". All decent questions that of course, weren't asked.
Instead Star started off with an arselick thanking Zico for getting Fener so far in the competition. Well, even I will congratulate Zico and Fener for getting this far but surely congratulations are not needed in a post match interview. Stick to the cliches Star TV!
Let me give you one straight out of any sports journalist's book: "A tough loss Zico, where did you go wrong?"
Zico is a smart bloke though and pretty much ignored the journalist's songs of praise and instead said whatever it was that he wanted the public to hear.
He got through all the normal stuff, including to his credit dismissing the idea put to him by the Star TV that Fener was robbed by the referee (I'm not even going to mention Fener-Denizli, oops) and then made a statement along the following lines: (I'm paraphrasing here so don't sue me)
"Perhaps one thing that has to be looked at is the number of foreigners who are allowed to play for Turkish teams".
Well, that was some statement coming from a bloke who had just fielded three, yes, just three players who were born in Turkey in Fener's starting line up and who had more foreigners sitting on the bench if needed.
Three Turks too many for Zico and for Fenerbahce. It does make you wonder why the Turkish press is so gung-ho for a bunch of foreigners when in almost every other field they are so hostile.