Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We don't want a racist coach

I touched on the subject of Genclerbirligi's coach Samet Aybaba getting into hot water over racist comments he made after our loss to Sivas on Sunday.

It was his comments on the fact that us fans were shouting "Samet gitsin. El Saka kalsin" ("Samet go, El Saka stay") towards the end of the match.

"They prefer an Arab to me?" Aybaba asked.

Immediately the Alkaralar Gencler fans forum started a campaign to have Aybaba sacked. The headline on the site reads "We don't want a racist coach".

The story is all over the newspapers today and I've just seen a report that the matter is to be looked into by the football discipline board which has the power to issue fines and possibly ban him from the sidelines for a number of matches.

The background to the story as I pointed out yesterday is that Aybaba for some reason doesn't like El Saka. El Saka was captain until a little while ago and many supporters, including a few of us Kankas, think he deserves a first team place. Not only has he been dropped from the team but when he showed up to training midweek Aybaba refused to let him train.

Aybaba's mysterious refusal to make key changes during the match against Sivas (he only used one substitute) led the fans to vent their frustration by getting behind El Saka.

Whilst I must praise the quick decision to refer the matter to the discipline board I have my fears that nothing much will be done. They washed their hands of this incident a few years ago. An article from the Guardian in 1999:

Take this Kevin Campbell incident for example... not many football chairman would have responded to Campbell's current goal drought as Trabzonspor boss Mehmet Ali Yilmaz did. Yilmaz told the Turkish press that he had bought a "cannibal who calls himself a striker" and then proceeded to describe Campbell as "discoloured".

Yilmaz has since done the usual, declaring himself to be racism-free and blaming all the kerfuffle on the media. "If a microphone is shoved in your face when you are gutted after a 3-0 loss it is natural for it all to spill out," he said. Spill out like the overflow from a cistern presumably.

I'm not so sure that Yilmaz called him "discoloured", I seem to remember that he merely called him "coloured", either way, it was a pretty racist comment. Yilmaz, by the way, is still chairman of Trabzon.

No football for a few weeks but if Aybaba is still coach of Genclerbirligi when we restart the season he is in for one hell of a bollocking from the fans.

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