Aziz Yildirim, the chairman of Istanbul-based sports club Fenerbahce, has been barred from basketball games for six months and fined 40,000 Turkish Liras ($11,162) for attacking a rival club’s chairman.
Turkish Basketball Federation’s disciplinary board on May 8 also fined Isik Eyigungor, chairman of the Near East University club, 7,500 liras ($2,092) for insulting Yildirim, and barred him from matches for a month.
The incident flared on May 7 when Yildirim slapped Eyigungor just ahead of a derby match between the two clubs’ women basketball teams.
Yildirim was reported to have lost his nerve when he and other Fenerbahce executives were not given seats and were kept waiting at the Caferaga Stadium, where tip-off was due at 2 p.m.
The Near East University club, hosting the match, was also reported to have filled the empty seats in the arena with the fans of Fenerbahce’s arch-rival Besiktas.
The incident came ahead of a critical football match in the Turkish Super League between Besiktas and Fenerbahce on the night of May 7.
“You see their indecencies. They are trying to lure our players just before the match, making transfer bids. We want tickets for our fans but they are not selling them [to Fenerbahce supporters],” Yildirim told the reporters after the incident.
The basketball federation’s chairman, Hidayet Turkoglu, said he was “deeply saddened by the events during the Near East University-Fenerbahce game.”
A separate criminal investigation against Yildirim is also in progress.