Osayi-Samuel: Super Eagles full back defends Fenerbahce teammates against fan attacks in Super Lig

Osayi-Samuel: Super Eagles full back defends Fenerbahce teammates against fan attacks in Super Lig

Nigerian international Bright Osayi-Samuel put on his superhero garment on Sunday, playing a huge part in fending off angry opposition fans from attacking himself and his Fenerbahce teammates.

Fenerbahce were 3-2 winners over Trabzonspor at Papara Park thanks to an 87th-minute winning goal from Michy Batshuayi, adding to a first-half brace from Fred.

However, tensions arose in the Trabzonspor stadium towards the end of the game when the home fans started throwing objects on the field after Batshuayi’s goal in their Super Lig match.

The angry home fans ran on to the field and attacked Fenerbahce players during their “end of the game celebrations.” Osayi-Samuel and Batshuayi were not going to stand and just watch, with the two players intervening before security officials entered the field to curb the violence.

Osayi-Samuel, who recently represented Nigeria at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, knocked down one pitch invader to the ground with a punch, while Batshuayi aimed a flying kick at another.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said that 12 fans had been arrested on Monday and further added that “it is never acceptable for violence to take place on football pitches.”.

Additionally, FIFA president Gianni Infantino reiterated that the incidents were “absolutely unacceptable”.

“I have said it before, and I will say it again – without exception, in football, all players have to be safe and secure to play the game which brings such joy to so many people all over the world,” Infantino said.

“I call on the relevant authorities to ensure that this is respected at all levels and for the perpetrators of the shocking events in Trabzon to be held accountable for their actions.”

The Turkish Football Federation termed the events “unacceptable” and said in a statement that “the necessary criminal sanctions will be imposed on those responsible for these incidents”.

Ismail Kartal, Fenerbahce manager, also added: “I don’t understand why this place is so tense. Don’t we have the right to celebrate? We need to overcome these things. We need to be tolerant towards each other and have common sense.”

The outburst at Papara Park continues a series of violent incidents in the Turkish top-flight division in the 2023–24 season. Most recently, referee Halil Umut Meler was assaulted by Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca in December 2023.

Fenerbahce are currently second in the Super Lig, two points off leaders Galatasaray, while Trabzonspor are in third place, 30 points behind Fenerbahce.

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