No men allowed, but 41,000
still attend soccer game in Turkey ...
Now, why would men be excluded?, one may ask. I know that it has been said that European soccer games can turn violent -- for innocent fans, even the refs and players, coaches. In some countries rowdy fans, traveling as a club, are not allowed to enter certain matches. Banned, just like that.
Is it possible that men are less tolerated? Possibly, we are yet children, indulging in our egregious acts of overcompensation and, acting the very part of the fanatic. Women there, would just enjoy the game, in the moment, acting very human.
If they were to try to experiment here, some might be taken aback, possibly thinking, maybe it's some ruse -- they'll employ some subterfuge like this and have us examined, probed and analyzed, as if they would be from an alien race. Even do testing that was without permission. Tie tubes! Not permitted access to healthcare ... deny benefits on the suspicion that their requests were for purposes that the probers thought out of the 'Approved' list of procedures.
But this is a bit too medieval to happen here. Not us. Not now.
Maybe somewhere that we do not yet know about ...
Turkey's soccer association is trying something new in an effort to prevent violence at soccer games involving teams sanctioned for unruly fan behavior -- ban men and give free tickets to women and children under 12.
On Tuesday, Fenerbahce gave out free tickets -- to women and children only -- for its game against Manisapor in Istanbul. Long lines formed around Sukru Saracoglu stadium, with some women carrying babies in team colors, and more than 41,000 tickets were given away.
"This really is a historic day," Yasemin Mercil, a female member of Fenerbahce's executive board, said before the game. "For the first time in the world, only women and children will watch a game. The women know all the chants. The same anthems, the same chants will be sung."
The experiment seems to have been a success. Players tossed flowers at the fans before the game, and the visiting team received applause, according to the Anatolia news agency.
“This memory will stay with me forever," Fenerbahce captain Alex de Sousa said. "It's not always that you see so many women and children in one game."
Manisaspor midfielder Omer Aysan added: "It was such a fun and pleasant atmosphere."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: More than 41,000 women and children filled Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul to watch Fenerbahce play against Manisapor in a Turkish League soccer match Tuesday. Credit: Turkpix / Associated Press