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  • Turkey Olympics Chief Asks FIFA Fairness


    FIFA President Sepp Blatter faces decisions on soccer violence this week in Turkey and Bahrain during World Cup qualifiers. (ATR) 
    (ATR) The president of the Turkish National Olympic Committee is pleading for fairness from FIFA following stadium violence Wednesday in Istanbul after Turkey lost a spot to Switzerland for the 2006 World Cup.

    While Turkey won the match 4-2, the Swiss team qualified on away goals, leaving home town fans angry, throwing objects onto the field as the match ended.

    Video of the players exiting the field after the match shows the start of shoving and kicking, including one blow delivered first by a Swiss player. One Swiss team member was taken to hospital suffering from internal bleeding.

    Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA indicates that Turkey may lose the right to compete for the 2010 World Cup as a result of the melee.

    "We will act tough," he promised at a press conference at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

    "The Turkish federation failed to respect the rights of the visiting team," Blatter says.

    Turkey has countered that Blatter, a Swiss, is acting with a bias, speaking before the conclusion of an investigation launched by FIFA.

    Speaking on CNN, Turkish NOC President Togay Bayatli says Blatter is acting as "judge, juror and execution" and that FIFA must apply sanctions fairly.

    Bayatli would be hoping for Turkey to escape deep trouble from FIFA, a move that could also spell trouble f
    Turkey NOC President Togay Bayatli says FIFA needs to investigate before leveling accusations against Turkish football. (ATR) 
    or plans to bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    Turkey is already in the penalty box with another Olympic federation, the International Weightlifting Federation. This week the IWF ordered a six-month ban on Turkey's participation in international competitions following problems with out-of-competition drug testing.

    FIFA, meanwhile, has also to figure out what to do about Bahrain, whose players surrounded a referee and started pushing and shoving after a disallowed goal against Trinidad. Trinidad won and qualified, 1-0 Wednesday night in Manama.

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