Respect… An important word for our daily life. But also a word you might hear a lot lately also on the football fields. Especially after it became a social campaign’s key word by UEFA.
What does respect mean? Checking the dictionaries, we would see that it has many meanings but mostly something like; “showing regard and appreciation for the worth of someone or something; Esteem” in common. But when it is used together with rules or moral and/or ethic values; then respect would also mean “to avoid violation of or interference with these concepts”.
The word “Respect” by roots, is coming from French language “regard” or even earlier, from Latin language as it was respectus. And in Turkish, we call it; SAYGI.
Anyway, I am not going to continue with the literature, since I am not a litterateur but an engineer; but most important of all I am just a Turkish football fan. But shortly I would like to say what Respect means to me: So, I would say as a human “Respect” means “to treat others as you wish to be treated yourself“.
So, in football it also became a key word as UEFA’s social responsibility initiative launched by the UEFA President at EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Actually after President Mr. Michel Platini said: “As the governing body of European football, UEFA has the responsibility to protect the game and its supporters.
As I said I am a supporter like many millions of others around the world, at the age of 37 watching Turkish and Euro football for years. We all witnessed what happened in Turkish football in 2010-2011 season. I do respect our rivals Fenerbahçe like any other teams as I am a fan of Trabzonspor. And Of course nobody can deny that Fenerbahce SK is a big club with a very big football community. So yes, we should respect our opponents but how about respect to ethics? How about respect to Clean Football?
What happened last year in Turkish Super League should really be examined very carefully. I do also have respect for laws and for TFF (Turkish Football Federation) as a member of the community we live in. But as a supporter who had a chance to read the Ethics Committee Report, now seeing sadly that the TFF and some clubs are trying to change the rules for relegation penalty, I believe it seems to be an action in very behalf of some clubs’ benefits.
Personally, I am following the match-fixing probe since the investigation was initiated on July 3 of 2011 by prosecutor Mehmet Berk. As a result, I believe that Fenerbahçe is guilty and the championship’s title should be handed to Trabzonspor club. Like how Trabzonspor was replaced with Fenerbahce for the UEFA Champions League in August. I believe it was the right decision especially after I read almost all of the report of the TFF’s Ethics Committee on the match-fixing allegations based on an indictment presented to a court in Istanbul. However, I am also aware that I am nothing more but a football supporter and this is not my case to decide. So with our best respect, we are waiting for TFF or let’s say judges of Turkish Football to take a final decicion for months. But seeing some institutes that are practising as defenders of some of those clubs’ benefits, then this word of RESPECT used by also UEFA really becomes essential if we are still believing in justice in Football. And that is why I said to write some sentences about it.
Many comments for this case from different sides were made in the last 6-7 months. The declarations that TFF and especially TFF’s President made during this period were always cautious and were looking to be trying to stay calm and see things more clearly. But after postponing the start of the new season, actually after seeing the fact that a sudden decision made to change the fixture and status of the Super league and converting it to a play-off system; I believe TFF is trying to protect some clubs and their benefits. Regarding the fact that TFF’s president Mehmet Ali Aydinlar was in a very active position in Fenerbahce Sports Club management in the previous years, it shouldn’t be considered as surprise for many of us. But now, if also this rules with relegation changes; then I would consider it as a big pity, an unfortunate decision for Turkish football. Besides, more than that; it is going to be a big pity for Euro and World Football.
So, if my club or other clubs involved with this probe are also guilty, I also expect the same. We don’t want any exceptations. Rules should be same for all clubs. As they say justice for all.
And even if in the end, Fenerbahce is found to be “not guilty”, then with all my respect and honesty I would love to be the first rival supporter congratulating them. But if this relegation penalty changes before a final decision would be made in the coming trials starting 14th of February, then don’t expect us to show RESPECT to this theater shows in Türkiye. Now, we are all waiting the judge’s decision. Obviously TFF is not going to take action according to the report the Ethics Committee prepared. Maybe they don’t have the courage for that, as we see tomorrow, 26th of January they have a meeting with football clubs to discuss the situation, possible will take support from all clubs to remove relegation penalty. But as we sadly see on news and most Fenerbahçe based journalists write about Fenerbahce’s rights and we see that TFF is trying to change the laws and even also hearing rumours, (I am still believing they are not real, but just manipulated on purpose to boost Fenerbahçe fans’ m0rale) that UEFA is going to show tolerance to TFF with changing of these penalties.
Therefore as Trabzonspor fans, at this point, we also expect UEFA to show respect to clean football in Turkey and as Mr Platini said, if UEFA is really the governing body of European football, then UEFA has the responsibility to protect the game and its supporters in Turkey as well.
If this relegation penalty changes, from now on, all football supporters would know that; “All clubs are equal, but some are more equal than the others“.
And unfortunately, if they change; then there will be no more “respect” in football. Or let’s say in other words, now there will be also respect for match-fixing in football.