Look to the behaviour of Turkish club

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 12:00am

I must write to reply to Sandra Wyatt's letter headlined 'So ashamed' (South China Morning Post, April 8).

I agree with her point regarding the good behaviour of the people in the South Stand at the Rugby Sevens, of which I have been part of many times myself.

I must, in memory of the two innocent Leeds fans who were killed in Istanbul last week, defend their reputation and the great many Leeds fans who attended games in their thousands this season without incident in Moscow and Prague.

It is easy to point the finger at British hooligans, but we must examine the mentality of the Turkish individuals who wandered around Istanbul city centre armed with murderous weapons looking for someone to provoke and stab, as well as the failure of the police to control such behaviour.

One of the dead men leaves behind a wife and children and both are acknowledged by Leeds United and the British Police Football Taskforce to be genuine football fans.

The blame lies with Leeds' opponents Galatasaray, a club which encourages threatening behaviour by stating that their fans 'will make it hell for any visiting side'.

They allow people to throw objects from the stands, make racist chants and behave in a way that would have them ejected from Elland Road, Leeds, immediately.

They refused to have a minute's silence or wear black armbands at the game lest they 'upset their supporters'.

All sporting clubs should boycott Turkey until they show the appropriate resolve to control their filth.

Rest in peace, two innocent football fans.

TIM SHAW Kowloon