Soccer loss sparks riot in Istanbul
Police use shields to protect players from flying chairs, flares
Hundreds of outraged Turkish soccer fans stormed the field and clashed with police in an Istanbul suburb after a scoreless game Saturday that gave Galatasaray the championship title over rival Fenerbahce.
Fenerbahce fans broke plastic chairs, throwing them and flares at police, who used their shields to protect the players as they fled to locker rooms at Fenerbahce's Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.
Elsewhere in the country, a man wearing a Galatasaray jersey was stabbed in the abdomen in an attack by Fenerbahce fans, the state-run Anadolu Agency said. The man, 29, was reported in stable condition.
Fans also turned over two police vehicles and set them on fire in Istanbul's Kadikoy district, the news agency added. Police and citizens quickly put out the fire, it added. The fans also turned over garbage bins and shattered shop windows, leaving streets littered with fist-sized stones, state television showed.
Sports channel Lig TV said some Fenerbahce fans also fought with police outside the stadium, throwing stones at a police vehicle with a water cannon.
Across the country, tens of thousands of Galatasaray fans took to the streets and honked car horns to celebrate their team's 18th league title. The victory comes days after the Turkish soccer federation cleared all teams implicated in an alleged match-fixing scheme. The federation punished some players and club officials but spared the clubs, including Fenerbahce, allegedly at the centre of the scandal.
Turkey is bidding to host soccer's 2020 European Championship and the 2020 Olympics in Istanbul.