Greek Cypriot holigans attack Turkish basketball team - UPDATED

Turkish team alarmed Turkish Foreign Ministry about the incident.

Greek Cypriot holigans attack Turkish basketball team - UPDATED

Turkish basketball team Pinar-Karsiyaka were attacked by Greek Cypriot hooligans Tuesday night following a Group C game at the FIBA EuroChallenge Cup with Greek Cypriot team Apoel in Greek Cypriot side of Lefkosa.

Having secured a place among the 16 teams to advance to the next round, Pinar-Karsiyaka lost 82-80 against Greek Cypriot Apoel on Tuesday. The team's manager Nihat Mala told AA that Greek Cypriot hooligans attacked the Turkish team after the game ended.

Mala said hooligans followed the Turkish team into the changing rooms, attacked with sticks and threw gas bombs, adding that some members of the team's technical staff and squad were injured.

He said the team were trapped in the changing room for a long time. Apoel supporters are well known for their ethnic fanaticism.

Turkish Foreign Ministry and Turkish Ambassador in Lefkosa contacted the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus after the attack. The Greek Cypriot police escorted the Turkish team back to their hotel. One thousand policemen formed a security cordon around the Hotel.

Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator and State Minister Egemen Bagis said they maintained a busy phone call traffic to ensure the safety of the Turkish basketball team.

Bagis said he spoke three times with Greek FM Dimitris Droutsas over the phone, two times with EU Commissioner for enlargement Stefan Fule and two times with Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.

He said EU officials told him that the prosecution of those responsible for the attack would be closely monitored by the Commission.

Pinar-Karsiyaka left for Athens on Wednesday morning where they will take a connecting flight to Izmir, the hometown of the basketball team.

A convoy of the supporters of the team is expected to welcome the basketball players and protest the attack staged against their team.


AA

Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2010, 12:02
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