Fenerbahce only allowed to admit women and children
In an attempt to combat poor fan behaviour, Fenerbahce were only allowed to admit women and children aged under 12 for their fixture against Manisapor after the Turkish Football Association banned men from entering the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.
The move followed violence at a Fenerbahce friendly in July. The Istanbul side was initially told to play two home matches behind closed doors after fans invaded the pitch during the game with the Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.
But the Turkish authorities later softened their stance and decided to let women and children attend.
Yesterday, more than 41,000 women and children attended the match in Istanbul. Not a single man was admitted.
The game, which finished 1-1, kicked off after players from both teams hurled flowers at the fans, while the visitors were greeted with applause instead of the more customary loud jeers.
The home side’s captain, Alex de Sousa, said: “This memory will stay with me forever. It’s not always that you see so many women and children in one game.”
“We have to thank the ladies for coming to support us,” his team-mate Joseph Yobo – on loan from Everton – told Lig TV. “It’s difficult playing without the fans.”
Manisaspor midfielder Omer Aysan agreed: “It was such a fun and pleasant atmosphere.”
Before the game, fans were searched by all-women police officers.
Speaking prior to the match, Yasemin Mercil, a female member of Fenerbahce’s executive board, said: “This really is a historic day. For the first time in the world, only women and children will watch a game. The women know all the chants. The same anthems, the same chants will be sung.”
From BBC Sport