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No men, no cry for Fenerbahce

21 September 2011 17:18

A crowd of women and children saw Fenerbahce draw 1-1 at home to Manisaspor on Tuesday, with men banned from attending the match.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) prohibited males over the age of 12 from attending the match after violence in Fenerbahce's pre-season friendly against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The TFF initially ordered the Super Lig champions to play two fixtures behind closed doors.

However, the authorities instead determined that only women and males under the age of 12 were allowed to attend the matches.

The fixture against Manisaspor drew a crowd of 41,000 to the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

As the teams entered the stadium, supporters threw flowers on the pitch and the visitors were applauded.

Players praised the decision and apparently enjoyed the experience.

"We have to thank the ladies for coming out to support us. It's difficult playing without the fans," defender Joseph Yobo told Lig TV.

Fenerbahce led in the match through a first-half goal from Senegal midfielder Issiar Dia, with Omer Baris levelling for the visitors after the break.

The unique crowd made an impression on Fenerbahce's Brazilian midfielder Alex.

"This memory will stay with me forever. It's not every day that you see so many women and children in one game," he said.

Fenerbahce will play their second home match in the unusual conditions against Istanbul BB on October 1.

The club are joint top of the Super Lig with three matches of the season played, but president Aziz Yildirim and captain Emre remain under investigation for alleged involvement in match-fixing.

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