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Turkey’s Trabzonspor get six-match spectator ban over pitch invasion

Turkish football club Trabzonspor has been ordered to play six home matches behind closed doors after violent scenes marred a league game with rival Fenerbahçe last month, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the country’s football federation (TFF) on Wednesday.

Two Fenerbahçe players, Dutch defender Jayden Oosterwolde and goalkeeper İrfan Can Eğribayat, were also fined and handed one-match bans by the TFF’s disciplinary board.

Oosterwolde was punished for kicking a Trabzonspor fan who had run onto the pitch with his face covered.

A group of Trabzonspor fans invaded the pitch after the final whistle of the 3-2 home defeat on March 17.

The attacks took place as the Fenerbahçe players and coaching staff celebrated their victory, with goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic being punched in the face.

The Black Sea team must also pay two fines totaling 3.1 million Turkish lira ($97,000).

Nigerian international Bright Osayi-Samuel escaped punishment after punching a fan on the pitch.

His actions “did not meet the threshold for a violation of disciplinary rules,” the board said.

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino called the scenes “totally unacceptable.”

This is not the first time violence has affected the Turkish Super Lig this season.

The championship was suspended for a week in December after a referee was attacked during a match between Ankaragücü and Rizespor.

Ankaragücü president Faruk Koca, along with other men, attacked referee Halil Umut Meler on the pitch after the match, injuring the official.

A number of Fenerbahce trips to Trabzon in recent times have also been marred by violence.

A 2016 game against Trabzonspor was abandoned in the closing minutes after an assistant referee was attacked by a home supporter.

The year before that the Fenerbahce team bus came under attack from a gunman en route to the airport on the way back from the neighboring Black Sea city of Rize, leaving the driver seriously injured.

In 2014 a match between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe was called off at half-time after the İstanbul club’s players were pelted with objects thrown onto the pitch by home fans.

Trabzonspor, which won the Turkish title two years ago, also found themselves in the spotlight in 2015 when the club president locked the referee and his assistants inside the stadium overnight in protest of the decision not to award his team a penalty.

They were eventually released in the early hours of the following morning after a phone call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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