There have been many media reports about an incident that took place on Saturday concerning fighting between fans of Turkish teams Besiktas and Galatasary. Many of these media accounts have been factually inaccurate.
Our understanding is that about 50 hooligans were involved in a fight outside one of the sports hall being used for the competition. The violence took place on the street outside of the venue and not at the game between the 2 teams as reported in many of the media reports. We understand that the violence involved people carrying knives and other weapons and that 7 people were taken to hospital, fortunately all with relatively minor injuries. The German Police were called and managed to control the fighting and a number of people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
As stated, the violence took place outside of the venue. Many of the press reports state that the fighting caused the game between Besiktas and Galatasary to be abandoned. This is not correct. The 2 teams were due to play each other later on Saturday for 5th and 6th place in the competition. Due to the risk of further violence during the game, in consultation with the local Police, it was decided to cancel the 5th and 6th Play Off game between the 2 teams. Both Turkish teams were upset, concerned and surprised with this violence outside of the sport hall as well as everyone.
IWBF Europe takes this matter extremely seriously and will consider what steps, if any, can be taken to ensure that this incident does not happen again the future.