UEFA bans Galatasaray from using home stadium

ZURICH, Reuters

UEFA has banned Galatasaray from using their Ali Sami Yen stadium for European club competition games “due to a serious lack of overall security”.

The Turkish club was also fined 120,000 Swiss francs (US$70,050) for the behaviour of its supporters and the “serious lack of organisation” in and around the stadium during the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid on April 3, UEFA said in a statement.

UEFA spokesman Mike Lee said on Wednesday: “These sanctions will be applied and Galatasaray will not be able to play at home in European competition until they satisfy UEFA that the improvements we are seeking have been carried out.

The UEFA statement read: “…insufficient protection was offered to the players and officials when accessing or leaving the field of play, as well as at the exit from the dressing room area.

“… the stadium was considerably overcrowded and even gangways and stairways were occupied by spectators.”

Galatasaray can appeal the decision before April 28.

The latest fine comes just five days after UEFA confiscated more than US$2 million and imposed a 350,000 Swiss francs (US$204,300) fine on Galatasaray for ticketing irregularities at last season’s UEFA Cup final.

The Turkish club put their 12,149 tickets on sale at a higher price than that agreed with UEFA and the Danish organizers of the final staged at the Parken Stadium, Copenhagen in May last year.