Pretty close to 0 degrees Celsius tonight. That might explain why it was just me and Little Oz Kanka down in Kizilay. Not wanting to subject the young fellow to too much cigarette smoke at the pub (you can nominate me for "Father of the Year" at this address) we went off to the stadium nice and early and found ourselves in the fairly short queue at about 5:10pm.
One-and-a-quarter hours later, at 6:25pm, 25 minutes after kick-off and with Gencler already 1-0 ahead, we were still in the queue.
|Queuing up in the cold. We joined the queue at |
the foot of the steps on the right of the photo.
Tonight's match was a Turkish Cup game and so therefore you didn't need a Passolig card in order to get a ticket. Just like in millions of matches in various sports all around the world, you could just show up and get your tickets on the spot.
And that is what happened tonight... except that every ticket holder was asked for their Turkish identity number. This then had to be put into the computer and checked against an ID card. At first they were also asking for telephone numbers... When I say "they were asking for telephone numbers", I actually meant "he was asking for telephone numbers". There was just a single Passolig person operating from one small window to deal with the entire demand for Maraton tickets. It was taking the poor young bloke in the booth about a minute per person to issue a ticket. By the way, well done to the Gencler fans who refused to take out their frustration on the poor ticket guy.
Even though you didn't need a Passolig card to get into the match it is still the Passolig company that runs the booths nowadays (for a number of seasons before this year it was the specialist ticket company Biletix).
Ertank showed up at his normal time, two minutes to kick-off, saw the massive queue and asked us if I could get him a ticket.
Me: "They want your TC number."
Ertank: "Fuck that then."
I guess he just turned around and left. I didn't see him again.
With the game about to kick-off, most of the Alkaralar and Karakizil fans had decided to head off to the pub. I did consider it but I did have a 10-year-old with me and standing in the cold is a good thing that toughens little kids up. I was also still curious as to whether they would give me a ticket with my weird foreigners TC number. Not to mention the fact that I don't have an ikhamet at the moment despite having applied for a renewal more than two months ago.
Still in the extremely slow moving queue and news came in that we had scored. Berat Tosun in the 14th minute.
A ripple of cheers from the queue.
Then, finally I get to the front and low and behold they, I mean he, accepts my foreign TC number, and then Little Oz Kanka is accepted as well. I thought I might have had to send him home on his own.
|At almost half-time. This photo is very |
deceptive as to the true numbers
"Of course the ref's decision is final but the goal was offside!!!,"
It was bloody Sir Eski of course.
"Don't know. Haven't got in yet," I replied.
"yeah, huge crowd and you might get locked out..." he laughed. "Did ye forget yir way tae the stadium???!"
And so, at 6:35 we finally got in. And what did we find. No one there. It was a tiny, tiny crowd. Absolutely pathetic.
It was never going to be a huge match spectator-wise but thanks to the Passolig system it was a disgrace. Let me repeat again. There was just one ticket seller for the entire Maraton section... and that poor bloke had to take down all sorts of info just to hand over a piece of paper. Pathetic.
Little Oz and myself enjoyed the rest of the match. It was great to be back at the footy. I just wish that the powers that be stop trying to industrialise the game. Is that too much to ask for. We just want to enjoy some footy and support our local team.