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Your verdict: Istanbul aftermath

Another England-Turkey game and another email inbox full with the aftermath.

The Euro 2004 qualifying match in Istanbul may have ended 0-0 - with the point enough for England to qualify automatically for the championships and Turkey to face the play-offs - but there were plenty of talking points before, during and after the match.

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    Your Verdict:

    As an England fan it shocks me that Alpay has been vilified even by his own national coach for his actions last Saturday. I do not condone his actions but Alpay should not take all the blame for the incidents surrounding the Turkey vs England game.

    Both the Turkish and English F.A's are at fault for their contribution in their war of words weeks before the game, and Eriksson and in particular Gomes comments in the weeks before did not help give leadership to the players. The English F.A.'s obsession with not allowing fans to go to Turkey plus their timing of the 'Rio' affair only led to more media hysteria producing a hot house atmosphere for the game.

    Players conduct in the game from both sides was appalling; not only Alpay but Sukur's dive could have been equally incitive to trouble as was Beckham's attempted headbutt at Alpay and the 50 man brawl demonstrates an appalling lack of discipline from both team's players and officials.

    The media obsession with the whole game sustained the light of the fuse which was always going to set off the Turkey vs England firework, and surely FIFA and UEFA should have stepped in earlier and done more to calm things down as it was clear that this game was always going to be controversial whatever the score.

    Alpay didn't help himself on Saturday - but everyone involved in football needs to learn and take responsibility for their role in the farcical debacle last Saturday

    V Whitworth, Liverpool


    All the credit goes to England! I am Turkish and would have loved to see Turkey beat England. But I am certainly ashamed to have seen some of our players', especially Alpay's, behavior against Beckham and other English players.

    England deserved a better score than what they got, and I must admit that, after all they have been through during the build-up, when I saw them jumping together with joy at the end of the game, I couldn't help applauding them. The English have a brave team and they should be proud of their players and coach.

    Hakan Gurger, Istanbul


    It seems strange that England struggle past the likes of Macedonia and Slovakia and then when it comes to a World Cup semi-finalist they play excellently.

    The England team seems to have risen to the occasion on both occasions, something Turkey could not do unfortunately. They were outplayed at the Stadium of Light and in Istanbul but they are a better team than we saw on both occasions.

    I hope they get through the play-offs and show what they can really do at Portugal 2004.

    Ed Griffiths


    The quote from Beckham: 'If we had won 1-0 it would have been a great result but in a way 0-0 makes it better because it shows the character to come out of a game like that.'

    Illustrates everything that is wrong with English sport. They don't play to win. It doesn't appear to matter if it cricket or football, the English are happy with a draw. This was demonstrated in the world cup where nothing was done to change to an attacking game when Brazil was down to 10 players.

    Sven doesn't appear strong enough to change this cultural issue. England would be better off dumping him and getting Michael Schumacher or Steve Waugh in to give them a touch of the killer instinct.

    Bryan


    I have to admit that I enjoy supporting the underdog, and with England and its stars being among the highest paid players and backed by the most lucrative league in the world it is difficult to call them underdogs.

    The Turks had some beautiful touches on the ball, some great passing on the ground and you always want to see a skillful side take the game. Yet at the end of 90 minutes I am glad England won, because Turkey were dirty.

    Sukur's dive in the box was pathetic, and Alpay's constant jeering of Beckham was disgraceful. Like many of the smaller central or eastern European teams England have played Turkey showed us why England is easier to support.

    Darpa Dasgupta


    My congratulations to England for a job well done but commiserations to Turkey who seemed to forget they were playing a crucial match and seemed to lack the passion (in a football sense, they certainly didn't like the passion in terms of winding-up the opposition)they showed in the World Cup.

    We all know that the Turks can play better football but their temperament as a team seem suspect, not necessarily on the big occasions but on the occasions with a bit of history behind it.

    Turkey seemed to let the grudge-match media hype get to them, whereas England just went successfully about their job. If they face England at Euro 2004 they should concentrate more on their football and we could well see a different result.

    Dennis Quad


    I cannot believe the extent of the bad blood between England and Turkey when there is so little to carry on about.

    Beckham typified the relationship by carrying on about Alpay's behavior towards him in the final Euro 2004 qualifier. So what if he made personal remarks about his mother, if you're professional enough you'll ignore it, get on with your job and not go whining to the press afterwards.

    What goes on the field stays on the field, stop carrying on and trying to make the England team much bigger heroes than they really are David.

    Andrew Browne, Sydney


    I sit here in Barbados mildly amused at the comments attributed to UEFA spokesman Mike Lee regarding the argy bargy during the weekend's heated Euro 2004 qualifier.

    Did we not see in the Manchester United vs. Arsenal league match a few weeks ago that several players involved in a similar scrap, faced disciplinary action from the FA?

    That was at the club level. It is reasonable to expect that at the international level there will be similar sanctions given out. Then again we may see absolutely nothing come of the jeering and goading of missed penalty takers.

    The striking of opponents during the conduct of a football game is expected to be dealt with by the referee or his assistants. Swearing at opponents and insulting their mothers is unsportsmanlike conduct and indeed a bookable offence, yellow card. Poking an opponent is violent conduct, a bookable offence, red card.

    The referee is in control of the conduct of the game and his jurisdiction begins from the time he arrives and is handed the team lists and until he has submitted his match report.

    I therefore submit that Mr. Lee's diplomatically couched language further indicates the "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others" syndrome that perpetuates the "primadonna" status in world football.

    Shame on all parties in yet another disgraceful display of brainless actions all round. It is a small wonder the standards have been lowered and that a game like the Arsenal-Manchester United match, ended as goalless draws.

    Football has yet again been the loser.

    Martin I. l. "Cheese" Parris


    It's about time Alpay leaves Villa and the Premiership for good. Why is he always in the middle of confrontation but manages to blame everyone else? According to him it's never his fault.

    According to Alpay, it was Beckham who started it all, by swearing at him. Yet, pictures say it all...it's Alpay, screaming uncontrollably at Beckham after the penalty miss and Alpay poking Beckham in the face, and to top it all off he has the nerve to call himself a gentleman.

    England and the Premiership don't need Alpay any longer, it's about time he's seen off for good.

    Steve Drinkwater, Canada


    Coming from a region that follows the EPL and as a person who supports the England team, I must sympathise with Alpay. I think he is a fair player, a real hard man, a passionate footballer and a true patriot, which anyone would have respect for.

    It will be a pity that he will be crucified for his actions against David Beckham. I must however say that Beckham is no angel at all. He is a hot-head and an arrogant SOB. He doesn't deserve the England captaincy, which in my opinion should go to either Gary Neville or Sol Campbell.

    Could Soccernet please come up with a unbiased version of this event and get Alpay to open up. He is a real strong character and I am sure he is not like Beckham to actually kiss and tell what was said on the field.

    Lets be more fair in the news reporting on this affair. Thanks.

    Dinesh Charles


    I have no intention of excusing Alpay's behaviour in facing down to Beckham but the media seem to have missed the fact (as I saw it) that Beckham rose up quickly to mask a head butt as merely his forward movement.

    It is clear the media were struggling to find something of interest in a drab, boring game.

    Alan Cooke


    I read somewhere that the England team were prevented from conducting their pre-match training in the penalty areas and heard some post match suggestions that this could have contributed to Beckham missing the penalty.

    Come on people, are you really trying to tell me that Turkey new which exact piece off turf to 'doctor' in order for Beckham to slip and bend his penalty over the bar?

    I know there is always hype and overreaction surrounding an England Turkey game but this is just ridiculous.

    Well done England by the way.

    Alpay 'in yer face' Ozalan


    We have to look at the match from two perspective: one football and two behavior. Turkey seemed to fail both, however England pretty much participated in both levels.

    Alpay unnecessarily upset the atmosphere, and Beckham replied in a same manner. Neither of them were angels. If England needed a win to go, it would have been a different game because they just kept their coolness and got what they needed, very professional.

    Turkey played better than England, but they were not professional enough to complete their task. It was ugly football, bad day for Turks good day for Brits. No need to talk about this game forever. Both teams will continue with their courses, please lets not try to blow things out their proportions.

    Bulent Ozcan, New York


    The fact that England fans could not go to the game in Turkey (not the case for Turkish fans in Sunderland) says a great deal about the state of the game in that country, and yet I fail to see any action taken by UEFA to get control.

    The Turkish fans have now been found guilty on two back to back home games of throwing objects on the field with the intention of hurting visiting players. The fact that police with shields had to be used to protect players in the last game was shameful, and yet the Turks were allowed to continue playing at home.

    Neil Coombes


    So UEFA are considering 'brawl' charges. The game is over, nobody was hurt so why do they need to open old wounds and no doubt stir things up even worse for a potential England-Turkey match at Euro 2004.

    As for UEFA looking into the Turkish FA for a 'lack of order and discipline in the stadium' that is also a joke. They employed a triple cordon of police around the stadium and even took coins off Turkish fans to stop them being thrown onto the pitch - what more could they do?

    I understand the need stop missiles being thrown but they don't seem to mind that it happens week in and week out in Spain, Italy and many other countries throughout Europe.

    At least it's not England being unfairly dealt with for a change.

    David Webster


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