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Thursday, 11 May, 2000, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Galatasaray in ticket probe
Galatasaray players training for next week's Uefa Cup final
Galatasaray players training for next week's Uefa Cup final
Turkey's Galatasaray are facing an investigation into alleged ticket price hikes for next week's Uefa Cup final against Arsenal in Copenhagen.

The Istanbul club is understood to have put up ticket prices by between five and eight times their face value in what is believed to be a security measure.

That would price the most expensive tickets at just under 400. A Galatasaray season ticket can cost as little as 150.

A Uefa spokesman said: "We have heard about this and will be looking into it."

Galatasaray however have insisted they are selling the tickets at face value and are merely accepting donations from fans.

Galatasaray's ground is nicknamed "Hell"

Galatasaray general secretary Sinan Kalpakcioglu claims Uefa are happy with what is going on and that the club.

And the Turkish side will provide the governing body with a fully audited set of accounts for their ticket sales.

Kalpakcioglu explained it is standard practice in Turkey to accept donations from supporters towards the cost of running a club's other sports teams.

Customary donations

He said: "This has nothing to do with the final itself and this is an ordinary situation.

"We are a sports club and not a football club.

"We have 44 different teams and 900 different sportsmen and women and we only earn money from our football team.

"So it is customary in Turkey to collect donations from your supporters and your club members.

"If, on the other hand, someone is buying a ticket for 100 and then selling it on for #200 I cannot be responsible for that.

"I have heard rumours of this but I cannot be responsible if that is the case."

Kalpakcioglu also dismissed as nonsense reports that the Istanbul club had increased ticket prices to try and stop troublemakers from attending the final in Copenhagen's Parken Stadium on Wednesday.

Fears about security at the match have been voiced following violence ahead of the away leg of Leeds' semi-final against Galatasaray, which ended with the stabbing deaths of two of the Elland Road club's fans.

In the wake of that incident, the Turkish club's supporters were barred from attending the home leg in Leeds, with the approval of Uefa.

Arsenal used leaflets to warn fans

And last month the England Under 18 squad was withdrawn from a tournament in Turkey amid safety concerns

Galatasaray's fanatical supporters have dubbed the Ali Sami Yen Stadium "Hell" and are well known for the raucous reception they give visiting fans.

The risks involved in a large number of the Istanbul outfit's fans travelling to a major match are largely unknown, because no Turkish side has made it to a Uefa Cup final before.

Arsenal took the precaution of handing out more than 30,000 leaflets before last Tuesday's clash with Sheffield Wednesday, alerting Gunners' supporters to potential problems.

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