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Thursday, 13 April, 2000, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Should Turkish fans be banned from Leeds?

Leeds United wants to ban Galatasaray fans from the second leg of their Uefa Cup semi-final clash after two Leeds supporters were stabbed to death in Istanbul in scuffles between rival supporters.

Club manager David Ridsdale says that tensions are running high and it is not worth risking another outbreak of violence.

But many passionate Galatasaray fans already have tickets for the UK match and just want to support their side.

Do you think the game go be allowed to go ahead at Elland Road or perhaps played at a neutral venue? Should Leeds fans be given more time to grieve? What can Europe's governing body, Uefa, do to solve the problem? HAVE YOUR SAY They should not be allowed to play as they have ruined the reputation of European football and should be banned from playing as the team should be able to control the kind of fans they collect along the way and root out the hooligans.
M Longfoot, England



I personally think that the Galatassaray fans should be banned for their own safety.

David Levitan, USA
I personally think that the Galatassaray fans should be banned for their own safety. If they are to be admitted, however, I believe that the cost of the massive security force that the UEFA president has called for should be paid for entirely by Galatassaray, so as not to add insult to injury to LUFC. I am also of the opinion, like many others, that if two Turks had been killed (or god forbid are killed in the return leg) at Leeds, all English, and maybe even all British teams, would be banned for Europe for several years and English fans would have been branded as racist zealots.
David Levitan, USA

If UEFA do not ban the Turkish side from the competition (as happened to English sides in the past), then the Leeds side should withdraw from the match. The match should never have taken place after the murders and the total lack of respect shown by the Turkish with no minute's silence or black armbands was unforgivable. Were the two goals scored worth the two men's lives?
Sarah (LUFC fan), Australia

I think Galatasaray fans should be banned from Leeds. I thought perhaps they would sit down and think for a while, then I heard about their disrespectful behaviour at the stadium. I also can't understand what Turkish newspapers and TV channels are trying to do. They are doing everything to justify the murders. Any flag and any national value isn't more valuable than human life. I understand the grief of English people and share it.
Huseyin, Turkey

It is unfair to blame or penalise all Galatasaray fans for the actions of a few. Not all British fans that visit the continent to attend games are hooligans.
Albert Spavins, Canada



If there is one group that has to be blamed for the violence that occurred in Turkey is UEFA.

Kenya, USA
If there is one group that has to be blamed for the violence that occurred in Turkey is UEFA. After incidents in the past they should have taken measures to work with local authorities to protect visiting supporters in European matches. It is my opinion that these two gentlemen would not have died if the local authorities had provided protection for the Leeds supporters from the time they set foot in the country until the time the flight had left Istanbul. The second leg of this match should be played at Elland Road. Leeds United have worked too hard in the UEFA Cup to just have the match moved to another venue.
Kenya, USA

I am a Leeds fan who was not in Turkey but has a ticket for the return leg at Elland Road. It is blatantly aware to anyone living in this city that if Turkish fans turn up there will be trouble. Uefa have proved themselves in the past to be weak and ineffectual and it is likely they will bow to the Turkish club's demands, at which point I think Peter Ridsdale will withdraw us from the competition. While this will upset me it is better than more deaths.
E Goat, UK (Leeds)

I think that Leeds should withdraw from the competition very publicly, saying that UEFA are weak and that football is not just restricted to the football ground. Galatasaray should be banned for several years - especially in the light of the fact that the final is most likely going to be against Arsenal, and that the club has never shown any inclination for the provision of safety measures for visiting fans and football teams (Ireland). This would mean that the return leg of the Arsenal match would suddenly become the decider for the UEFA cup.
Graham, UK



For the good of English football we MUST not allow any further incidents on our shores or involving our supporters as this will again damage all the hard work

Kevin, UK
For their own safety, Turkish fans should not travel to the UK. It seams that our integrated thug community is hell bent on escalating this incident by calling for various groups to wage a vengeance on the return leg. As true supporters we must do what we can to prevent this happening even if it means a heavily policed neutral location or for the game to be played behind closed doors with live feeds to each respective country. For the good of English football we MUST not allow any further incidents on our shores or involving our supporters as this will again damage all the hard work it has taken for our Teams to be allowed to play in Europe since the last major incident.
Kevin, UK

A lot of people seeming to be either missing the point here or getting their facts wrong. PETER Ridsdale (not David) has asked UEFA not to allow any Galatasaray fans to attend the 2nd leg not as any kind of punishment but for safety reasons, both their own and the Leeds fans. Don't forget he also stopped several hundreds Leeds fans flying out to Turkey (who were on the clubs organised trips) on the same day as the 1st leg for safety reasons. Having the Turks here will only fuel an already tense atmosphere and it's better for everyone that they don't.
Ian Eccleshall, Rochdale, UK

Football related violence is an international problem. The UK authorities have done everything possible to stamp it out. It is about time the Turkish authorities did the same. Perhaps banning Turkish fans or even clubs with a serious hooligan problem will make them do something about the problem.
Andrew Laing, Malaysia



There seems to be a whole lot of ill-informed rubbish being spouted from both sides of Europe.

Craig Harry, England
There seems to be a whole lot of ill-informed rubbish being spouted from both sides of Europe. Two men died in a street fight. Turkish people, English people, Leeds, Galatasaray and the sport were not guilty. The people running with the pack that wielded the knife were. They should be imprisoned for a very, very long time, and we should all ask ourselves how we have got to this
Craig Harry, England

I might be naive and uninformed - but how about banning alcohol and drunkenness from the stadium - instead of another country.
Adam Parker, USA



By not acting to stop it, the club are condoning the action of its fans.

Andy Smith, USA
I write again to perhaps clarify the issues: 1) Indeed two people can be murdered anywhere in the world at any time for any reason. Galatasary and/or Turkey should not be despised or banned from competition for actions that are beyond their control. 2) Galatasary as a CLUB have, however, acted in a despicable manner before and more importantly after the incident occurred. They have made no attempt to control the scenes of hostility that greeted Man United, Chelsea and ourselves. 3) Supporters of a club are by definition members of that club. By jeering through a condolence message and engaging in hostile visual displays, they are representing that club. By not acting to stop it, the club are condoning the action of its fans.
Andy Smith, USA

Football is making great strides to eradicate the problem of hooliganism. Also schemes such as 'Lets Kick Racism out of football' at the likes of Millwall F.C are working hard to incorporate equality into OUR game. However the tragic events in Istanbul only serve to remind us of what can happen if we let down our guard and let these thugs win. I am definitely in favour of banning the Turkish 'supporters' from Elland Road, and all other European football venues.
James Triggs, England



The ordinary decent people of Turkey and England and all soccer nations, should not be tarnished with the same brush

Phil W, UK
The ordinary decent people of Turkey and England and all soccer nations, should not be tarnished with the same brush as few mindless thugs apparently "supporting" both teams. I feel very sorry for the innocent fans of both sides, who only wanted to see the GAME of football being played. Perhaps the "overall result" of each match should take into account the number of arrests in each camp? Those with the most goals, the least red/yellow cards, and, the least number of "arrests" among fans, is the actual winner? It's time it grew up, and why should the rest of the nation have to suffer because a minority of thugs among the genuine fans?
Phil W, UK

With our past record, no country is any worse than our own puerile and embarrassing record for football violence. Who can blame the Turks for behaving the way they did, they were expecting the usual trouble and "once again" our "poor, innocent" fans provoked trouble with the "usual" derogatory insults. If it was the other way round, I would fare that the English fans would have reacted much, much worse. No sympathy I'm afraid...
Mark, England



It was unfair to expect Leeds to perform at all after the events in Turkey.

Malcolm McKeating, England
The football authorities must think that English supporters are all idiots. The driving force for UEFA is money, and they have every intention of allowing the rematch go ahead. The only reason for the prevarication is to wait for the furore to die down.
It was unfair to expect Leeds to perform at all after the events in Turkey. It is unfair to expect Leeds to perform well in a rematch at any other venue than Elland Road. And it would be stupid in the extreme to suggest that such a rematch would be without incident.
Malcolm McKeating, England

The Turkish fans should be banned from attending match at Elland Rd. English fans would be banned under the same circumstances. Unfortunately, the good get painted with the same brush as the bad.
J Pieris, England

To Raymond from Holland:
You're absolutely right - a minority of this country's football fans are renown for their bad behaviour and sheer ignorance and whilst I feel desperately sorry for the victims and their families - we mustn't forget that while there are human beings in this world you will NEVER stop violence - for one reason or another we all seem to hate each other - so sad and not much of a future for our children.
Wendy Girling, UK

Two English soccer fans killed by Turks in fracas: result public (or is that media) outcry. Thousands of Kurds killed or tortured by Turkish troops: result media silence. Funny old world.
Mustapha Mond, UK



Turkey should be banned, they act like a bunch of animals.

Wayne Dixon, England
Turkey should be banned, they act like a bunch of animals and no team should be made to play them at home and face this disgusting behaviour that their so-called fans hand out to visiting teams. They should be banned from European football for at least 3 years and if they carry on this behaviour when they are back in the tournaments they should be banned for a longer period I think an example should be made of them...
Wayne Dixon, England

I think the Turkish fans should not come for their own safety. Sensible intelligent people know that this incident has nothing to do with true Galatasaray fans but unfortunately some people will blame all Turks for this and I fear there will be a backlash.
Benny, UK

The problem is not the original crime which we hope the courts will deal with correctly but the attitudes of the Turkish press and some of their people. In this situation the only action is to say sorry.
Any Turks who want to go to Leeds match should be allowed but they should be given only the protection from the UK police that the Leeds fans were given by the Turkish police and any retaliation by Leeds fans should be ignored by UEFA. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth as it says in the Bible.
Jack McLintock, UK



The potential for another outbreak of violence to yet again tarnish this great game is apparent.

T. Taylor, UK
Deep-rooted resentment has now taken a hold on the both sets of supporters. The potential for another outbreak of violence to yet again tarnish this great game is apparent. English fans were banned from European football for many years due to violent behaviour by the minority of the supporters.
I feel you will not hear to many arguments if the Galatasaray fans were banned from the Leeds game. Yes it is a shame for the majority of the away supporters, however, we had to suffer the indignity of not playing in Europe I am sure they can handle the exclusion from one game.
T. Taylor, UK



Turkish fans appear to revel in the "welcome to hell" attitude.

Liam, UK
The theory that Galatasaray fans should be barred because of the actions of the few may seem like an over-reaction. It is not. Turkish fans appear to revel in the "welcome to hell" attitude. Their actions - coupled with Galatasaray's decision to not wear black arm-bands - are actions which should not be tolerated. Leeds is very much in the right for banning Galatasaray supporters.
Líam, UK

I think that the football match should be stopped altogether. If the Turkish supporters came to Leeds, the English thugs would cause a riot! It usually is the English hooligans to blame. I have been beaten up myself at a football match and I know how scary it is.
Bex Barlow, England

We are very sorry about Wednesday night just like FATİH TERİM said: I wish we lost the match instead of the two English man.
Cem, Turkey

The two Leeds fans were murdered in a foreign land. It could just as easily have been two Turks murdered in England. When will governments wake up and stop this senseless situation that can and does damage relationships between countries.I believe fans should be banned from away matches. I even believe that if extended to the domestic game this sort of ban would cause resurgence in football attendance with families wanting to attend. In fact the whole atmosphere would be much better. Fans of course will claim that their team will be disadvantaged.... But these footballers are professionals and paid accordingly.
Mike, Singapore



Galatasaray must take full responsibility and should be banned from Europe with immediate effect.

Chris Oxford, Singapore
This is not about Turkey or the Turkish people. However, it is very much about a football club and their highly questionable tactics/ethics. Galatasaray have taken no responsibility whatsoever in the past to control their incredibly hostile fans... Look at Man United's previous visits as well as Chelsea's. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. The way that Galatasaray have conducted themselves, before, during and after this horrific incident is absolutely disgraceful. Galatasaray must take full responsibility and should be banned from Europe with immediate effect.
Chris Oxford, Singapore

I find it amazing that your sport seems to echo the violence of society as a whole. Surely we must use sport as an escape from the horrors of everyday life, rather than a continuance. In Rugby Union what is done/said on field is left on field
William, New Zealand

Two English soccer supporters killed, while the Turkish authorities were watching and cheering. ONLY because the British Embassy put pressure on Turkish authorities, did the Turkish police act. Turkish national football and Turkish clubs should be globally banned for several years.
Ian, London, UK

People must realise that what we have here is not an act of soccer violence. It is a street riot where two murders took place. We must all distinguish the difference.
Antonio, Australia

To invite the Turkish supporters to the UK would only cause resentment and anger on behalf of true football supporters.
Steve Morton, United Kingdom

Here we go again! Men becoming homicidal at the sight of 22 blokes kicking a leather ball up and down a bit of grass. As a taxpayer I don't see why I should fork out for a massive police presence at a game just because "fans" can't behave themselves. Ban it!
Janet, UK



It is the English fans who really cannot be trusted for the return game in Leeds.

Hakan Aysan, UK
Just this year, there was a murder in the Fulham game. Neither club was banned from anything. The Leeds chairman is concerned because he knows it is the English fans that really cannot be trusted for the return game in Leeds, but he cannot really ban them, can he?
If you go to someone's country and you become drunk, abuse them, urinate on their flag and make passes at their women, you can expect some fanatics to retaliate. When, even when you could hear Turkish supporters chanting in English stadiums due to their numbers, have any Turkish fans abroad caused trouble?
Hakan Aysan, UK

I'd like to follow up Tony's (Ireland) point, not only did the Turkish have scuffles with the Irish, but also I recall Chelsea fans suffering a similar fate during their travels to Turkey. The match should not go ahead in Leeds; trouble is inevitable in light of events in Turkey with Leeds fans out for justice.
Spencer, England

As a Brit who has lived in Turkey and spent time with some of the most caring and friendly people I have known. I cannot believe the hysteria has now enveloped both our nations
The tragic deaths of these two Leeds Fans has happened in a fight that could easily have happened after a game in the UK, Europe, Turkey or anywhere in the world.
The support and condolences should be to the families of the men who were killed. Football is a beautiful game, but it is only a game. Something that has sadly been forgotten over these past couple of days.
Andy, UK



Galatasaray fans and Turks as a whole should not be punished due to an act of a few mindless murderers.

Ayhan Tekpasa, UK
As a Turk, I wish to express my disgust at the two killings of the Leeds Utd fans. However, the Galatasaray fans and Turks as a whole should not be punished due to an act of a few mindless murderers. The law in Turkey will punish them.
Even poor Muzzy Izzet had to out up with abuse at Everton just because he is Turkish. Please do not punish a whole nation because of the actions of the actions of murderers.
Ayhan Tekpasa, UK

Leeds Utd officials insist on Galatasaray fans should not attend the second leg of the semi-finals in Leeds, either because they do not want to embarrass themselves by getting the Turkish fans hurt or banned from International competitions for life.
I think the biggest issue under the circumstances is the security of Galatasaray footballers. Because of the low security measures in stadiums in England (no fences between the fields and the spectators) and presence of no-riot police on the ground creates a big opportunity for the Leeds fans who have been influenced by the provocative tabloid press to attack the players on the ground. Therefore, regardless of what FA and Leeds officials think, this match should be played in a neutral ground.
Atakan Oguz, UK

When I read the comments I wonder if British people understand how they are looked upon. After years of troubles that their supporters have caused in Europe they are the victims themselves. I feel very sorry for the two guys from Leeds and for their families. But let's face it: hooliganism is a British invention. We thank you very much!
Raymond, Holland



Millions of Turkish citizens keep the same feelings and we all want to apologise!

Turgut Onur, Turkey
I feel very sorry, for what happened just before the football match between your team and Galatasaray last week in Istanbul... It is a big shame on us, not to be able to send the two of our guests back to their family in good health...
I am also very disappointed for not having heard any excuse coming from the Turkish government or any official body, along with the racist attitude of some newspapers and TV stations mutually. Meanwhile, I also appreciate all the good efforts aiming to keep the peace from both sides!
Since that brutal day, I feel a very deep sorrow and shame...Please be sure that millions of Turkish citizens keep the same feelings and - at least on behalf of my family - we all want to apologise!
Turgut Onur, Turkey

Even if what Levent Demirekler, Turkey says is true about this group of fans/hooligans surely he doesn't mean that loud, disrespectful behaviour is justification for murder? It would be justification for arrest, deportation and prosecution at home, But not stabbing in the street. Get some perspective people.
Graeme, England



There is no legal or moral reason for banning Galatasaray fans as a whole.

F Conde, Mexico
A ban on Galatasaray fans attending the second leg of the match shouldn't be imposed if we understand this "ban" as a punishment towards them. I can see no reason in doing so.
However tragic the events in Istanbul were, punishment can only be given based on evidence. The culprits, the murderers must be prosecuted (and hopefully condemned). But there is no legal or moral reason for banning Galatasaray fans as a whole.
F Conde, Mexico (UK resident)

UEFA have failed to take responsibility by allowing the fixture at Galatasaray to go ahead whilst the bodies of two English men lay in an Istanbul mortuary. It is not sufficient to ban supporters from the return leg. More decisive action against Galatasaray is called for.
Those arrested are thought to be known members of a gang connected with the Istanbul club. Above all UEFA must act with consistency and develop appropriate policies that are currently lacking. The deaths at The Heysel Stadium in Brussels were a tragic accident. The double murder in Istanbul was no such accident.
John, UK



Galatasaray fans in general it seems are not fans but fanatics.

Dan, England
Last year I spent a wonderful summer holiday in Turkey. The people were really hospitable and friendly. I talked about football with many Turkish fans who said how much they admired English football. Galatasaray fans in general it seems are not fans but fanatics. They should not be allowed to attend the game for many reasons, the main one I feel is the lack of respect shown to two football fans who lost their lives.
Dan, England

European Football is all about money and television these days. Safety concerns seem to have become second priority.
Paul Healy, England

I am afraid to say that I think that if GS fans come to Leeds to see the return leg, they may almost certainly face violence themselves. My message to them is to stay at home for their own safety!
Sarah Martin, UK

I think that Galatasaray supporters should not be banned from watching the Leeds match. The ones fighting there were just a few animals.
Haluk Yorgun, Turkey



Galatasaray should have been disqualified on the basis of association with these fans.

Mark Lisle, Germany (ex Leeds resident)
I am appalled that Thursday's game was allowed to go ahead. Galatasaray should have been disqualified on the basis of association with these fans. Then maybe fans would be a little more well behaved. Secondly this incident is a sequence of violent events involving this club. When Chelsea were playing there the players were subject to violent scenes and the whole stadium was the most aggressive I have ever seen. I think that Galatasaray should be disqualified and the replay should be against the club that lost to Galatasaray should go into the Semi-final.
Mark Lisle, Germany (ex Leeds resident)

A lot of your correspondents talk of the ordinary fans of Galatasaray and distancing themselves from the actions of the murderer(s). Such talk is largely nonsense. The so-called "genuine fans" of Galatasaray showed that there is little to choose between them and the mindless thugs outside the stadium, by their despicable behaviour during the tribute to the murdered Leeds fans. This sort of behaviour is not new to Galatasaray or to many continental clubs where the "British" disease is on public display on a week in-week out basis. I would not think that any true Galatasaray fans would want to travel to Leeds for the return leg, even if they are allowed to do so.
Nick, Greece

The Brits are still in mode of fanaticism including their media. This time they attack on Turkish community. I did not enjoy and welcome any British alcoholics who show their butt and burn Turkish money. They may attack in all terms but we are going to respond in return game in England.
Bora Donmez, Turkey

When "English" hooligans wrecked havoc in Europe, ALL our sides were expelled, and banned from playing. Yes, we should stop the Turkish fans coming over.
Paul, Wales



It seems to me that everybody is overreacting.

Nedim, USA
I have read all the previous comments and it seems to me that everybody is overreacting. Both the Turkish and the British media have distorted what actually happened to appeal to nationalist feelings that only fuels more hate. But by banning Turkish fans from the game in the UK would just inflame matters further. Either put the hate to rest and try to act sensibly or these horrible murders will just be remembered as football violence and not as the death of two people that were loved by their family and were much more than football fans.
Nedim, USA

The events that resulted with the killing of two British men are certainly horrifying, and shameful. But, is it right to blame the whole Turkish nation, or all of the GS fans?
Kemal Tiryakiler, USA

Having read the previous 40 e-mails I find it incredible that any one should contemplate not banning Galatasary and all Turkish teams from international football for a substantial number of years. A lot of the e-mails referred to "English hooligans" in Turkey, I would just like to ask where does that leave the Irish international team? If anyone cares to remember they actually got kicked and beaten off the pitch by innocent, quiet Turkish supporters while the police looked on. Remember Tony Cascarino with the blood flowing from his face.
Tony, Ireland

No one can condone violence of this kind at what should be a sport that all generations, of all nationalities should be able to enjoy. Those who should be most ashamed now are those sick neo-Nazi thugs whose organised violence at football matches is now tainting the lives of the vast majority of decent fans. No matter where you go these days, especially in Europe, the Brits are now despised and everyone wants to bring the 'arrogant' British down a peg or two. I suspect it is these same dangerous few who are now using the situation to fuel their campaign of racial hatred. Please don't let them use your grief in this way. I know that Leeds fans are so much more dignified than that.
Mike, England

I'm sorry about the deaths of the two English, but this event shouldn't involve all Turks. The English media and the public shouldn't have the idea of revenge when Turkish supporters go to Leeds. I don't believe second leg match much should be played in a neutral zone. It would be better to eliminate Leeds in front of their supporters and Galatasaray has the capability to do that.
Alper A., Turkey

How Turkey and the country's media originally responded to the deaths of these two Brits is disgusting. Not one politician came out to condemn the killings nationally. Killing an individual over a flag, let alone a silly game called soccer, epitomises great insecurity. If this is any indication for Turkey's behaviour if accepted into the EU let's hope the Brussels bureaucrats take this into consideration.
Claire, USA

As a Leeds fan, I would welcome Gal. fans to Elland Rd. Being Turkish or a Gal fan is not a crime. They are not guilty by association. If both sets of fans reacted by setting an example of respect and tolerance then some good would come from a tragic event.
Darren Walker, USA (Brit expat)



You cannot blame an entire nation for the actions of a few people.

John, England
The hooligan element is only a minority on either side, but that is sufficient to create a nightmare situation in Leeds. Even if there were no trouble, which would be down to policing, the cost of which would be enormous. Rather than ban away fans, Leeds should simply withdraw from the competition as a mark of respect and to stop the situation getting any worse. Additionally, the way the situation is being handled by certain sections of the media is appalling: Once again they are stirring up racial hatred. I would not like to be a Turk living in Leeds.
John, England

If the Police or UEFA feel that there will be confrontations between the two sets of supporters, then it must act in protecting public safety. If this means that the Galatasaray fans are banned, then so be it.
J Nettley, UK

1- The British fans involved in the fight were being escorted by a British policeman. Unfortunately, when the event started, the policeman was away from the group.
2- They were on the list of hooligans in England and were banned from attending football matches in England. Why don't you ban Your fans to go to other countries to attend football matches as well?
3- They didn't have tickets for the game.
4- They were all drunk and according to witnesses they starting showing inappropriate parts of their body in one of the most crowded place in Istanbul and they did offensive things with the Turkish flag. British government considers them as potential trouble makers and doesn't let them to attend a football match and doesn't trust them at all in any way, and send a policeman with them to take care of them.
Finally, nothing justifies killing people,
Levent Demirekler, Turkey

I was dismayed at hearing that two football fans were killed once again. I'm really sorry for them and their families. But it's not the first time Leeds fans have had problems abroad this season. In Rome the same tragedy could have happened. I don't want to justify what happened in Istanbul, but I suspect that the English "we've come here to have a war" attitude paid off this time.
Fabrizio, Italy

I am an American that has extensively travelled in Turkey and is currently living in Istanbul. Generally the Turks are great and hospitable to foreigners. The Leeds fans were provocative, behaving in Neo-Nazi fashion. To the Leeds bosses: show your hospitality to Galatasaray. Remember what Fatih Terim said in Istanbul: "I would have wished to lost the match rather see the English die." I call upon everybody to remember that it's just a game after all.
Joshua H. McGregor Jr., Istanbul, Turkey

A whole country was punished for a whole five years after the Liverpool-Juventus match. All English clubs, the best in the continent, were banned for half a decade. Then don't you think the minimum that should be done is to ban Galatasaray, the club not only the fans, from all competitions for at least two years?
Nam, USA

As a Turk, I would like to say that I am ashamed of what happened. It was a senseless tragedy and had NOTHING to do with Football. But the Turkish fans are not savages. They have an overwhelming desire to see their team throughout Europe. Most Galatasaray fans will most likely not come to Leeds anyway. Any sane person would not go. To do so would be to pick a fight in the wrong place. My condolences and sincere apologies to the families and friends of the victims.
Serkan Altay, Canada

Turkey is a civilised nation just like many other western nations. However violence and murder occurs everywhere. Look at the crime rate in New York. Should we ban all sporting events in NY too?
Erinc , Australia

I think David Ridsdale's request to ban Galatasaray fans should be sufficient reason to change to a neutral venue.
Haluk Ozdemir, Turkey

During the 2nd World War, SS officers had a system. If someone committed a crime, they rounded up and killed the entire village. Now, some drunks (both English and Turkish) got into a fight and unfortunately two were killed. Murderers were arrested and are waiting for trial. England also has prisons, murderers, thieves and crooks like any other country in the world. I am extremely sad to hear some people insulting the 65 million Turkish people and asking for Turks to be kicked out of Europe.
James Barric, USA

Every country has its own values and the other people must respect them. It is not only related with Turkey. Remember Juventus-Liverpool match in Belgium.
Gokhan Senel, Turkey

The killings took place way outside the stadium. According to Turkish police, many of the Turks involved in the fights were not even Galatasaray supporters. It is irresponsible reporting by the British media and stupid comments by people such as David Mellor that could inflame the situation further putting the safety of Galatasaray supporters at risk. Banning these fans would imply a serious lack of distinction between murderers and passionate football fans.
Karim, Spain

They should be banned from coming to Leeds. People don't want them over here, they can keep their football and their flag in turkey.
Raymond, England

If English soccer fans had committed this there would have been calls for banning English clubs in Europe. We have all seen the hatred that Galatasaray fans are capable of towards visiting teams and fans. What more will it take before the ruling bodies will take action? I believe they should ban Galatasaray from European tournaments until they can prove to the rest of Europe, that no harm will come to visiting fans or teams further more that they are capable of dealing with the internal problems of violent fans.
Terry, USA

I don't think any fans should be banned from either team. The Turkish and the British fans need to be re-educated as to what civilised behaviour is. I don't blame the Turkish fans for sticking up for their side in the face of British provocation. It just didn't have to result to murder.
Dimitri, Canada

Remember Britain no longer rules the world. If you disrespect a country's pride you should suffer the punishments.
Vira SIngh, India

I don't know about the fans but the Galatasaray player that pretended to slit his throat in the Leeds fans' direction should be banned from football altogether let alone the match at Elland Road.
Reg, UK

Turkish so-called football fans should be banned from any football match for life. My heartfelt sorrow goes to the families of those true Football fans that lost their lives.
Mr G Hawkins, UK

I cannot believe that Galatasary are prepared to add further insult to devastation by demanding a neutral venue for the return leg. The support (though I'm sure not all) of Galatasary displayed utter contempt for the message of remorse at the ground by whistling an jeering through it. Now the club itself wishes to join this throng by twisting the common sense words of our chairman as a means of gaining further psychological advantage by avoiding an Elland Road replay on grounds of safety. What would be a safe neutral ground/country? At least what would be safer than a well-informed and policed Elland Road? If this is accepted by UEFA, Galatasary as a club will have shown themselves to truly be dirt. Why don't we make it simple and withdraw from the cup? After all, it is becoming increasingly apparent that they desire progression at any cost. No silent respect, no black armbands, a demand for a venue change, I hope Galatasary are not seen again in European competition for a long time after this year.
Andy Smith, USA

The 20 or so Leeds fans have cast a black shadow over a wonderful sport. The UK press coverage is grossly misleading and whipping up national ill feeling. English soccer hooliganism is still here with us today. It's very sad anybody has to be killed. Unfortunately Turkey has its share of stupid nutters but we should not distort facts and truths and ruin a beautiful game of football, in consequences to mindless actions of the few.
Muharrem Duzen, UK

Galatasaray as a club and the Turkish footballing authorities bear much (though indirect) responsibility for the killings of the two Leeds supporters. Whereas the authorities did not wield the knives, they have done nothing to discourage (and everything to encourage) the constant atmospheres of bigoted hatred against the players and supporters of visiting teams whether at club or national level. Governments, football associations and football clubs cannot be held responsible for the crimes of the hooligan element that attach themselves to football teams. However, they share a responsibility to be proactive in preventing and condemning such tragedies. To the officials, players and fans of the Galatasaray club: your (in) action speaks much louder than your words.
Mark, Celtic and Ireland supporter, Colombia

This game should played at a neutral venue, due to the Leeds' president's hate oriented disclose after the 2-0 game
Mehmet Azgin, USA

If there is such concern of having an outbreak between the two club fans, and if Leeds thinks it cannot provide sufficient precautions, the game should be held somewhere that is neutral that can create a safe envirnoment for both sides.
Matt Citi, USA

Banning will not ease the tension and bring the two lost back. What if Galatasaray and Arsenal play the final? Are we going to ban each side's fans from the game this time? I think GS fans should be given a chance to show their true feelings, otherwise isolation will hit back some time in the future...
Riza Demirer, USA

The unfortunate incident in Istanbul was made possible by the inexperience of the Istanbul police and their failure to take precautions. There is little possibility that the same lax security will be repeated in Leeds. Especially after what has already happened. Let's not ruin the game for everyone based on the actions of a few Istanbul back street criminals.
Hakan Can, Baltimore, USA

I think Turkey should be banned from International competitions until they clean up their act. I seem to remember the Irish team having problems there in the Euro2000 play-offs.
Gordon Milnes, Scotland

Nobody has mentioned whether the Leeds fans were drunk and provocative. This is what gives British fans a bad reputation when they travel abroad.
Jerry Kelly, UK

As an Englishman living in France I would be happy if English football supporters were banned from ever setting foot in Europe. I experienced their behaviour during the world cup in the south of France and in my opinion they are not fit to be let out in decent society. Please stay home and leave us in peace to enjoy our football and other pursuits in a civilised manner. Psychos who can't hold their drink should have their passports withdrawn
John Woodford, France

It is not fair to punish the majority for the actions of a tiny minority. If the same standard were applied to English fans then they would never again be allowed to watch a foreign match. This decision is a knee jerk reaction that borders on racism.
Jason Heppenstall, England

There is no "correct answer to this question" but I think Leeds should pull out of this competition, swiftly followed by Galatasaray. No football game is worth the deaths of two people.
Alan Cousins, England

I think that it would be wise for Turkish fans not to be allowed to visit Elland Road as it is as sure a way as any of guaranteed violence at a football stadium. The opinion of many Leeds fans has made it obvious that Galatasarray fans are not welcome and UEFA should enforce a ban for the safety of both sets of supporters. Also, how would the authorities have reacted if it had been a foreigner stabbed by an English fan? Not in the same manner, I am sure. We only have to look at the reception that Manchester Utd were given when they visited Turkey to see the nature of their supporters and if both sets of fans clash, then I fear that more trouble is on the horizon. A game of football seems to have gone past the point of being just a game of football.
Adam Gowland, England

As a foreigner living and working in Turkey, I have been appalled by the mostly heartless reaction by Turks to the killings. Most here seem to think the English (Leeds) fans had it coming. This thinking is heavily influenced by a highly sensational media in the country... the sort of reporting that convinces the public that "military exercises" in Kurdistan are because of Turkish suffering at the hands of the Kurds. Here all English fans are "hooligans" because of images repeatedly drummed into their memories, such as France '98 and, mistakenly, Hillsborough. In response to a previous message, sure Turkey has different values, but does Turkey have a right to impose these, whether they are right or wrong, on foreigners. Turks should be able to respect other cultures as much as they expect other cultures to respect theirs even though other cultures (such as the behaviour of football supporters) may be considered "kaba" - indecent or coarse in Turkish. Disrespect does not warrant death.
Not given, Turkey

Following the behaviour of Liverpool "fans" during the Heysel disaster, English clubs were banned from Europe for nearly a decade. Surely banning Galatasaray fans for one away game is the least UEFA can do in the light of this sickening double-murder.
David Elwood, England

Of course Galatasaray fans must be banned from attending the match at Elland Road. To allow Turkish supporters into the ground will only ignite a tense and volatile situation.
Jimmy Glass, USA

Fans fighting because of a football match are not so important things to be sorry about, whether they be Turkish or British. A wise man watches a match as in the theatre. The mounting crisis between the two countries is ridiculous.
DERYA YAYLI, Turkey

I don't understand all these vicious verbal attacks by the English media against Turkey, Turks, or Galatasaray fans when it is obvious that a single but sad criminal incident cannot be attributed to an entire nation or community of soccer fans. It is ironic to hear from Leeds officials that they themselves cannot guarantee the safety of both their own and Galatasaray's fans in their own town. Don't these remarks simply show that such incidents can occur anywhere? Even if the police takes extreme measures? Doesn't it mean that Leeds officials don't trust their own fans, nor their own security forces? If that's the case what's all that Turkey-bashing about? I would have hoped that the match in Leeds in front of the fans of both teams would have served as a good test of international tolerance and sportsmanship. However, it seems that Leeds officials either cannot ensure safety in their home field or they simply want to take advantage of the situation by banning visitor team's fans.
Kerimcan Ozcan, USA

Is football so important to create a war atmosphere between countries? I think these are problems of the fools. There are a lot of serious and sensible people living in the two countries. Will the replies change anything? Bye!
HIKMET ZAHIR, Turkey

I feel that the Turks should be barred from Europe altogether. If this was English people killing Turks then we would surely be banned for at least a season. It is one rule for the English and one rule for everyone else. Uefa needs to grow some common sense for a change and make an example of the Turks like they rightly made an example of the English in the 80's.
Steve McCoull, England

Turkey need to be kicked out of the competition, there is no doubt about how they will act in the future. Look at the comment from Gokhen Senel "Every country has its own values and the other people must respect them." OK English fans aren't always the best behaved, but they are often acting against hostile home fans and police who seem to get a buzz out of beating up then arresting English fans. Look to the example of Liverpool. All English clubs were banned for several years, why do things like this never happen to other countries? Look at France 98 German fans killed a policeman and did anything happen? Of course not as they are not English.
Mark, Leeds, England

Wouldn't it be unfair if the Turkish side rejected the English fans at the beginning and didn't let them in Turkey for the match because English fans are known to be hooligans?
Nalein, Canada

As a Turk living in Australia, I believe that Galatasaray fans should not be banned from the second leg of the Uefa Cup semi-finals. It seems that the incident that had occurred involving only a few criminals should not punish Galatasaray, Galatasaray fans or Turkey for the actions of some "IDIOTS." The court is going to punish the criminals, the criminals are going to pay the consequences for "their actions." Why should everybody else pay, for the actions of the idiots?
Australia

It seems just because English fans have a reputation for violence that they must be the cause. It's not the case that other countries fans provoke English fans and then blame us for the trouble. It would be bad for the Turkish fans to come to Britain, as I am sure they will inflame an already delicate situation. Only takes a few of them to provoke a fight. Let's hope if they do come that they are all searched for weapons as they arrive at the airport.
Dave, UK

Whether or not Turkish fans were responsible for what happened at the match, Turkish refusal to commiserate with their opponents (and guests, one might add) was wrong. Things like this simply continue to keep that country on the margins of modern Europe. As for Leeds, they must be aware of the problems their supporters can cause, should seek to check those problems, and pay their departed fans the best tribute where it counts: on the pitch.
Harry Olufunwa, United States

I was shocked last night to hear support on BBC radio for banning Turkish supporters from Leeds next Thursday week. I see this as further evidence of the paranoia gripping our media. Are we really to believe that Leeds supporters are angels? What happened in Istanbul last week was tragic for sure but maybe at least in part was due to Leeds fans behaviour?
Michael Blunden, England

Although I do not live near Leeds I would find it disgraceful if the Turkish fans were allowed to come to the game they gave us the loss of two men why not give them the loss of watching their team.
John Rigby, Scotland

It amazes me that the Turks want to play the game at a neutral venue. Will they perhaps consider forfeiting the original 2-0 result and start again level? It is about time Uefa started to look at the hostile reception given to supporters and teams in Turkey that seems to be driven by their media and politicians. If the boot had been on the other foot with a number of Turkish nationals injured English clubs would again been facing lengthy bans but alas not a mention of any such action. My advice to any would be Turkish fans wanting to travel to Leeds keep away as your ground may be hostile but Elland Road can be a nightmare. It is a shame that the majority of supporters are well behaved but ironically as will probably proved that those who did the knifings are just your average run of the mill thugs who carry knives all the time for cowardice protection.
Steve, Australia

I think we can now see why Turkey has never been invited to join the EU There respect for human rights is appalling As for the silence from Uefa. I would just like to say that its money that runs the game today. Sponsors should ask themselves if they wish there brands to associated with incidents like this. At the end of the day the fans can still boycott products. I think the Turks should be withdrawn from the competition and any other clubs fans who fail to keep order. This sort of punishment/deterrent would calm the aggressors down. Clubs would also take a lead in promoting fair play.
Paul, UK

It's obvious that Galatasaray fans should not be allowed into England! What we need is consistency. Look at the ban imposed on innocent English clubs in the past! I'm sorry but it applies to all countries not just England. If fans cause death, then the punishment is severe! My sincere condolences to the families of the Leeds fans
Joe Davis, England

As a Galatasaray fan, I believe the people who joined the fight with knifes and killed two people can not be fans of a sport team. The British media should not increase the tension because these two countries will have football matches in the future and media will be responsible for the potential disaster they have been trying to create. A successful team should not be banned; this unfortunate incident can't be related to Galatasaray. If Turkish fans are banned from Leeds, how British fans will come to Turkey for a future match? Don't you thing it will be worse than it is now? We all should try to calm down and look for logical solutions. We see that there is a big anger in England now and we understand that but pushing it too much will increase the Turkish anger as well, which is surely worse than British anger. We are very sorry for the two people murdered in Taksim Square.
Galatasaray Fan, Turkey

Those Turkish supporters who would feel comfortable visiting Leeds given the current atmosphere should be free to travel. However, if asked, I doubt any would be comfortable taking their wives and children with them. Sensible Galatasaray supporters will probably have already sold their tickets to those willing to take the risk. After all, despite the importance of the match, going to Leeds to support their team would be akin to travelling to Kuwait during the Gulf war because it has nice beaches. Doubt many people did it, but they probably weren't banned from doing so!
Jon Orton, Fiji

The Galatasaray fans should be held collectively responsible for the murders and prevented by all means from attending future matches in the UK, and preferably the rest of Europe also, for a period of time to be decided. We are not talking about soccer but murder. Unless they realise the seriousness of the crime that was committed, and compensated Leeds in a befitting manner, they should not be allowed to besmirch the British flag. Uefa should look carefully into this matter and take positive steps to ensure that football is not allowed to degenerate into conflict and war or threats to the public's personal safety. These deaths were so unwarranted. It is common knowledge that Leeds are not a rowdy side and do not typify English soccer hooliganism.
Simon Cameron, UK

Come on guys. Please be objective and calm!. Definitely, this is a very horrible act that has to be condemned. But it can not be attributed to a whole nation and its values. This is the first time that such a killing happened by Galatasaray fans. I really disappointed to see the English Media distorting the things and making the Leeds fans as angels.
Erol Danis, Turkey

Why is it that every time a football hooligan problem comes up we automatically get the blame. English fans that is. Let's put this in perspective with the facts: English fan stabbed 17 times and the other 5 times with forethought, planning and malicious intent. The problem though is with the minority in any social situation and greater powers should be given to the police to root out the troublemakers. After all, we have the technology at hand to help each police force in the world in stopping idiots from travelling and causing their sick havoc. In the name of good sport and peaceful participation I hope the police of this world can get around their pride and work together.
Kevin Stocks, Finland

As an English teacher living in Turkey, I have seen both sides to this dispute. Everyone I've spoken to shows deep regret and embarrassment about the deaths of the two supporters, however the media is constantly repeating the incident and condemning English hooligans almost every night. It was terrible what happened but I really believe that the real supporters (the families and lovers of the game) are distressed and many realise that going to the match in England at a time of such tension is stupid and dangerous. The incidents that occurred in Turkey were organised and conducted by young fanatically men who were not actually football supporters, maybe instead of the Turkish press condemning the English hooligans they should look at their own first.
S Cabak, Turkey

What sort of logic is it that if two Turks get murdered in Piccadilly, you blame Arsenal or Chelsea for their murder? What has Galatasaray to do with the behaviour of few Istanbul thugs picking fight with English hooligans? If Leeds can not accept Galatasaray supporters, who would be genuine supporters to buy the tickets from the club, then the game should either be played at a neutral venue or without any spectators at Leeds.
Dr A Akademir, UK

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08 Apr 00 | Europe
More arrests over Leeds deaths
06 Apr 00 | Europe
Passion of Turkish fans
07 Apr 00 | Europe
Fans tell of night of violence
07 Apr 00 | Media reports
Turkish press changes tune
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