Van Persie, Tosic suspended after Istanbul derby fracas


Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey’s football federation on Thursday suspended Fenerbahce’s star Dutch striker Robin van Persie for three games and Serbian defender Dusko Topic of Besiktas for four after a standoff in a tense Istanbul cup derby this week.

The two had been involved in an off-the-ball incident in the February 5 game which saw Tosic sent off in the 41st minute but Beskitas fans feel van Persie also deserved red for exaggerating the contact.

Van Persie collapsed to the ground after being nudged on the head by Tosic.

Fenerbahce won the cup match 0-1 in Besiktas’ stadium by the Bosphorus thanks to a 71st minute goal from van Persie, who arrived last season from Manchester United.

The Dutchman was then the target of a expletive-ridden Twitter rant from Tosic’s wife, the Serbian pop star Jelena Karleusa.

The federation said after a meeting of its disciplinary committee van Persie was being banned for three matches and fined 19,500 Turkish lira ($5,300) for insulting behaviour. 

Pictures from the game showed van Persie gesturing with his hand down the front of his shorts in the direction of Besiktas players and fans.

Tosic was meanwhile banned for four games and given a fine of 71,000 Turkish lira ($19,270) over the red card incident. Besiktas manager Senol Gunes was given a one match ban.

The bans come with both sides at a crucial stage in the season, with Besiktas looking to pull ahead of second and third placed Basaksehir and Galatasaray in the Super Lig race. Fenerbahce remain contenders in fourth.

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