Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Besiktas fan's view of Passolig

Are you still confused as to what Passolig is and why the crowds this season are way, way down? We have had a few articles on the matter. In fact I ought to get them all together in one place (next week's job). 

But today I want to link to an excellent article in English on a Besiktas site by a fellow called Emrah Dincer. The article gives a brief history of how Passolig came into being. 
One of the things the law changes in theory was the ownership of the responsibility of unwanted incidents. Normally, after an incident (usage of profanity, fans on pitch, objects thrown on pitch, fight among fans etc) the club(s) were punished by fines ranging from a few thousand euros to having to play without fans or having to play in another stadium far from home. This specific chapter of the law was giving the clubs a new responsibility in exchange for being responsible for all incidents. The troublemakers now will be responsible from their own actions individually instead of the club; but the club has to implement the necessary infrastructure to determine who are the trouble making individuals. The description in the law is rather vague, and it is not really clear what kind of “infrastructure” is necessary.
 After the massive Gezi protests in the summer of 2013; where it became evident that many of the fan groups, especially Çarşı was influential in the resistance against the government, was Passolig announced. Cameras and other security devices would be installed to all stadiums by the same company who will collect all personal information from anyone who goes to a football game. The cost of the infrastructure would be paid by the fans who are buying tickets to games.
Dincer goes on to talk about how a very small bank with good connections to RTE managed to get the contract to supply the cards to us all... and us in return all becoming clients of his tiny bank. Then follows some good points on the hassles of the new system, failures of technology at the stadiums (something Flying Dutchman Kanka has experienced first hand) and the general fears that fans have over the control of their personal infomation... Dincer doesn't fail to remind us that many Besiktas fans fave life imprisonment for being involved in the Gezi protests last year. 

Dincer also found one weird implication that I hadn't known about, or thought about. 
There were also impracticalities about the system. For example when obtaining this card one has to declare which team one is supporting and can only buy tickets to games of that club. That means somebody does not have the chance to go see a random football game unless that somebody is a registered fan of one of the clubs playing. The application and approval process is just too much hassle for people who only see a few games a season. 
Dincer ends with more questions than answers... because no-one knows what is going to happen. My bet... football will lose. 

Please click on the link to read Dincer's full article What Passolig is, and what it is not  


  1. There's no chance that the TFF are going to scrap this especially when it's linked to the most powerful Man in Turkey.

    Horrible idea and Turkish football is slowly dying. Watching these games with no fans is pish

  2. Sad really, but also scary ! I hate to say this, but it makes watching Ankaragucu in the 2nd League a bonus !!!! Joke !!!!

    It is probably only a matter of time before it is extended down to our league !