Monday, December 9, 2013

Minister slams Mandela t-shirt action

Turkey's sports minister lashed out on Monday at moves by the football
authorities to punish two top Ivorian club players for paying homage
to Nelson Mandela.
Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue have been threatened with
disciplinary action by the Turkish Football Federation for violating a
ban on wearing political slogans on T-shirts – triggering outrage on
Turkish Sports Minister Suat Kilic called on the federation to review
its decision against the two star players with Istanbul giant
Eboue and Drogba
"I don't find it a healthy choice in terms of Turkey's image abroad
and the two footballers' (freedom of) expression," he said.
Drogba removed his club shirt after a match Friday against SB
Elazigspor to reveal a T-shirt that read "Thank You Madiba", using
Mandela's clan name.
Teammate Eboue also honoured the South African anti-apartheid hero who
died on Thursday with a T-shirt that said "Rest in Peace Nelson
The federation defended its decision to summon the two players, saying
they had not sought permission for their action.
But the move caused fury among scores of Twitter users, with some
accusing the body of "fascism".
"There's a minute of silence for Mandela before a match in Britain but
in Turkey, there are fines," said one tweet signed by Erce Sahin.
Another Twitter user with the handle Hevallo, said: "TURKISH FASCISM
in FOOTBALL like everywhere in Turkey!"
The minister also blasted a federation decision last week to initiate
disciplinary procedures against a Turkish club whose footballers wore
T-shirts paying homage to the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal
Mandela: I'll do it again — Drogba
Drogba has responded to threats by the Turkish FA to sanction him and
his compatriot over their tributes to Mandela by posting a picture
montage on Instagram including a photo of his own meeting with the
former South Africa president.
"I'd be very interested to see your comments on this…but I'm sorry if
I had to I would do it again and again. Not because of political
beliefs but because this man inspired me, a country, a continent, the
world!!!!! Thanks again Madiba

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