Istanbul - A Turkish footballer banned for life after being accused of slashing
rival players with a razor during a match had his punishment reduced to a
20-game suspension, authorities said on Thursday.
The attacks that shocked football-mad Turkey were during a third
division match between local squads Sakaryaspor and Amedspor, based in
the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir.
The player, Mansur Calar, was banned for life on March 7, but the
Turkish Football Federation on Thursday said a disciplinary committee
reduced that to a 20-match ban and a fine of around €4,000.
It did not give any reason for the change which came after the player had appealed. Calar still faces a judicial proceeding.
Video footage from the game purportedly shows the footballer holding
what appears to be a razor blade, filmed when the teams lined up.
Four men lodging complaints that they suffered cuts. One of them,
Ferhat Yazgan, posted pictures of his scarred neck on his Instagram
Sakaryaspor said there had been a "climate of war" during the game,
while Calar's Amedspor denied there had been any slashing or
intimidation. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.