Istanbul, Turkey – A wheelchair basketball game for the disabled held in Turkey was broken up by police tear gas. What started merely as a heated game escalated into violence as fights broke out between rival fans. Even soccer hooligans usually don’t sink so low as to pick on the disabled, but in this case several of the disabled athletes were injured and their wheelchairs were trashed.
According to News.com.au, the violence started when supporters of two of Istanbul’s top teams, Galatasaray and Besiktas, started brawling at the game. The incident started innocent enough, with groups trash-talking each other from the bleachers. This talk turned into the chanting of offensive slogans, which reached even the sidelines of the basketball court.
Police were called in as the game was cancelled, and tear gas was used to break up the crowd. Several players and game fans were hurt, and police supposedly arrested at least 10 of the brawlers according to Sports Grid.
Violent clashes like this apparently occur frequently among fans of Instanbul’s main teams. It’s so bad that police do not allow supporters of local teams to attend away games. But this was the first time in Turkey–or anywhere else I’ve heard of, for that matter–that a sports game for the disabled was broken up by hooligan violence.
What do you think about these sports hooligans causing a wheelchair basketball game for the disabled to be cancelled by police tear gas?