Fenerbahce refuse to play over shotgun bus attack

TURKISH club Fenerbahce has said it has no intention of playing its league and cup games until those responsible for an attack on its team bus are caught, while authorities reacted to the incident by suspending Super League and Turkish Cup matches for a week.

Fenerbahce vice-president Deniz Tolga Aytore, left, Fenerbahce vice-president Mahmut Uslu and Fenerbahce vice-president Sekip Mosturoglu give a press conference. Picture: PA

The bus was shot at Saturday near the northern city of Trabzon on the team’s return to the airport from a 5-1 win against Black Sea side Caykur Rizespor. The driver was hit in the face and hospitalised. He is in a stable condition.

Fenerbahce officials said the attack was carried out with a shotgun.

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The Trabzon chief prosecutor’s office said Monday it has launched an attempted murder investigation and that one man had been detained for questioning for making threats against Fenerbahce over the Internet.

The wounded driver of Turkey's Fenerbahce's football team holds his head after a gu man attacked the team bus. Picture: Getty

The Turkish Football Federation and the Union of Turkish Clubs announced after an emergency meeting that they had decided to postpone all games by a week in protest of the attack.

Federation head Yildirim Demiroren said, however, that they had ruled against a cancellation of all remaining league games to avoid “rewarding the perpetrators.”

“We believe that the incident is a terrorist act,” Demiroren said. “Secondly, we took this decision because we attach importance to the players’ psychology.”

Goksel Demirdag, who heads the Turkish club’s union, said: “This was an attack on Turkish sports. It was an act against all colors.”

Fenerbahce vice president Deniz Tolga Aytore told reporters Monday that the attack was an “assassination attempt” and a “terror” act that could have killed 41 players and club officials inside the bus.

“We have no intention of playing until light is shed on the incident,” Aytore said. “To play ball isn’t all that important when the lives (of players) are concerned.”