Fenerbahçe could withdraw from Super Lig if Osayi-Samuel faces sanction

Following the recent events at a match in Trabzon during the ongoing Turkish Super Lig, Fenerbahçe defender Bright Osayi-Samuel is at the heart of the controversy after his alleged involvement where whispers of match-fixing have cast a shadow of doubt over his reputation.

However, the club has come out to defend the Super Eagles player, underscoring their unwavering commitment to integrity and solidarity within the club.

In a bid to bolster their case, Fenerbahçe's administration has invoked the issue of life safety as a crucial factor in their potential withdrawal from the league. Citing recent security vulnerabilities and the safety concerns highlighted by the Trabzon incident, the club warns of the dire consequences of failing to prioritise the safety of players and fans alike.

Fenerbahçe find themselves at a crossroads as the spectre of disciplinary action against Super Eagles star Osayi-Samuel looms large. The club's bold ultimatum threatens to withdraw from the league should sanctions be imposed on their prized winger, sending shockwaves through Turkish football and beyond.

Should Turkey's life security be called into question on the international stage, the repercussions could be severe, potentially jeopardising the nation's ability to host prestigious events such as EURO 2032.

Bright Osayi-Samuel in action for Fenerbahçe
Photo by Icon Sport

Osayi-Samuel, others still to face possible sanctions

Amidst the turmoil, Osayi-Samuel and his teammate Jayden Oosterwolde find themselves facing the prospect of disciplinary action. The club has vowed to defend its players, arguing that any punitive measures must take into account the provocation they faced during the Trabzon incident. However, the possibility of sanctions looms large, casting a pall of uncertainty over the futures of both players.

Osayi-Samuel and Jayden are said to be referred to the PFDK while Batshuayi and İrfan Can Eğribayat are also among the names to be referred as well.

Serious measures will be taken on the yellow-dark blue players on the grounds that they reacted under heavy provocation. However, there does not seem to be a chance that Osayi and Oosterwolde will escape unpunished.

In a statement released after the incident, the Turkey Football Federation (TFF) said, “We are in communication with our representatives and state officials regarding the events that occurred during and after the match played between Trabzonspor A.Ş. and Fenerbahçe A.Ş. in the Trendyol Super League.

“What happened in football, which is a game of friendship, peace and brotherhood, is never acceptable.

“No one should have any doubt that once the investigations are completed, necessary criminal sanctions will be imposed on those responsible for these incidents to prevent them from recurring,” the federation added.

Bright Osayi-Samuel in action for Nigeria's Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

TFF Legal Consultancy postponed the referrals for detailed examination. In addition to the referee and observer reports, following the file prepared by the broadcaster and lawyers who analysed social media images, it was noted that Oosterwolde and Osayi could be punished between 5-10 matches, and Batshuayi and İrcan Can could be punished between 3-5 matches. If this situation occurs, Fenerbahçe management and players will defend.

However, a Turkish sports lawyer Fatih Şaşıoğlu pointed out that Article 4 of the Turkish FA rules shows that defence can be carried out against people who enter the competition area and attempt to attack the football players, which is the case of the Nigerian defender and other players who are involved.

“Self-defence provisions are regulated in Criminal Procedure Law. It has been determined as a rule that no punishment will be given for actions taken in order to repel an unfair attack on a right belonging to oneself or someone else, which is certain to occur or be repeated, in a proportionate manner, according to the current conditions. However, for an action to be considered as self-defence, it depends on these conditions being met fully and completely.”

Bright Osayi-Samuel in action for Fenerbahçe
Photo by Icon Sport

Fenerbahçe star player ready to leave for ‘safety' reasons

The threat of Turkey being categorised as a country with security problems could deter not only football competitions but also other international events, casting a shadow over the nation's reputation on the global stage.

As tensions escalate, one player has already made a decisive move in response to the unfolding crisis. Serbian star Dusan Tadic, who arrived the club with assurances from management, now finds himself contemplating an exit.

He is considering departing the club at the end of the season, signalling the broader impact of the club's tumultuous journey.

Tadic has started packing suitcases after the attack in Trabzon. He was once heralded as a sign of ambition and promise but now finds himself having to deal with pressure from his wife with the recent turmoil, compounded by the shooting incident of 2015, leaving the Serbian disillusioned.

In this maelstrom of controversy and uncertainty, Fenerbahçe stand at a crossroads, grappling with the weight of their decisions and the implications for Turkish football as a whole.

As the club navigates these turbulent waters, the fate of Osayi-Samuel, the spectre of league withdrawal, and the broader implications for Turkey's international standing hang in the balance.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.