[QODLink]
Football
Women and children to watch football for free
The Turkish FA announces they will be giving away league tickets to women and children to help reduce crowd trouble.
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2011 13:01
More than 40,000 women and children were in the crowd as Fenerbahce met Manisapor [AFP]

Women and children under 16 will watch Turkish league games for free starting this weekend, as part of the national football association's bid to reduce violence and swearing at male-dominated games.

Turkey is trying to encourage more women and children to attend games and change matches - frequently marred by violence, insults and obscenities - into more family friendly events.

The country is also hoping to revive interest in a league that has been mired in a match-fixing scandal involving 19 games last season.

The measure was announced on Friday and comes on the heels of the association's other initiative to curb fan trouble.

Earlier this month, Turkish football's governing body changed its rules to bar men from attending games played by teams sanctioned for fan trouble, allowing women and children into stadiums for free - instead of forcing them to play in empty stadiums.

As a result, more than 41,000 women and children packed an Istanbul stadium on September 20, cheering and waving club-colored flags, to watch Fenerbahce play Manisaspor.

Staying beautiful

The association said in a statement that it would reimburse the clubs for the tickets they would allocate to women and children. Free tickets would be distributed for games as of Saturday.

"(project will) increase interest in the game, prevent violence and disorder, dissuade ugly and bad cheering and create an atmosphere for families to easily watch events"

Turkish Football Association

Top-flight clubs have designated women- and children-only stands at stadiums. Besiktas reserved a stand of between 1,000-1,500 seats, Galatasaray allocated 1,940 seats while Fenerbahce earmarked 531, according to the association.

The project will "increase interest in the game, prevent violence and disorder, dissuade ugly and bad cheering and create an atmosphere for families to easily watch events," the association said.

"The beautiful game will remain so," it said.

The presence of women at the Fenerbahce game helped change the tone at the club's 50,000-seat Sukru Saracoglu Stadium as the visiting Manisaspor team was greeted with applause rather than the usual jeers.

Players from both teams also responded to the changed mood, tossing flowers to the crowd before the match.

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.