Turkish fans launch ‘I hate Eriksson’ website

  • Other Sport
  • Friday, 19 Sep 2003

ANKARA: Turkish fans have launched a website called “I hate Eriksson” to denounce what they see as deliberate attempts by the England football coach to raise tensions ahead of a critical Euro 2004 qualifier between Turkey and England next month. 

“He is a provocator!” the main page of the site reads. 

“This site’s objective is not racism, violence, rage or insult. This site is prepared as a reaction to people who forget that sports is friendship,” it said. 

Sven-Goran Eriksson angered both fans and football authorities in Turkey when he warned English supporters intending to travel to Istanbul for the game that they might be putting their lives at risk, reminding them of the killing of the two Leeds United supporters in Istanbul in 2000. 

Fearing a repetition of violence that has often marred games between Turkish and English sides, the English federation has turned down its ticket allocation for the Group Seven decider on Oct 11 and fans have been urged to stay away. 

In the most recent incident, England’s victory against Turkey in Sunderland in April was tarnished by pre-match violence, two pitch invasions and racist taunting of the Turkish fans by the home side. 

The UEFA fined England a record £70,000 (US$111,000) and warned that further misbehaviour by its fans would result in it being thrown out of the Euro 2004 Finals. – AFP 

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