(photo credit: )
The Turkcell Super League season started this weekend on a violent note when Sivasspor's Israeli striker Pini Balili was violently tackled by Trabzonspor's Egyptian defender Ayman Abdelaziz.
Trabzonspor were leading one-null (Ersen Martin, 85') on their home turf when Abdelziz tackled Balili. Balili attempted to retaliate amidst protests from infuriated fans of both clubs over the violent tackle, protests which only intensified after the referee decided to give Abdelaziz a yellow card and not the harsher red card which Sivasspor fans thought his violence on the pitch warranted.
Dozens of Sivasspor fans stormed the pitch and the referee ran for cover in the dressing room, from where he declared the game prematurely terminated.
Turkish sports Websites said this was not the first incident in which the Israeli striker, formerly of Hapoel Tel Aviv and the Israeli national team, collided with an Egyptian player: In September 2006 Balili clashed with Konyaspor defender Abdel Zaher al-Saka. Balili later claimed the background for Saka's attack against him was the Second Lebanon War.
Sivasspor President Mecnun Otyakmaz put the blame on the crowd: "We have injured players because of the unruly behavior of the fans."
The Turkish Football Federation was positively considering giving Sivasspor a technical three-null victory and severely punishing Trabzonspor.