Violence and hooliganism transpired in the Turkish Super Lig this past weekend when Trabzonspor fans attacked Fenerbahce players on the pitch. Fenerbahce had just defeated third-place Trabzonspor to keep pace with Galatasaray in the Turkish top flight. Visiting players from Fener celebrated their win on the pitch after the whistle. Michy Batshuayi had just scored the game-winning goal in the 87th minute.

Yet, those celebrations rapidly turned violent when one Trabzonspor fan ran out on the pitch to confront the Fenerbahce players. A scrap quickly ensued between the players celebrating on the pitch and this one supporter. That changed when dozens of other Trabzonspor supporters dashed onto the field in what evolved into a massive brawl. Players were captured protecting themselves from fans who kept chasing them into the tunnel.

Authorities failed to keep any semblance of control over the situation as more fans piled out onto the pitch. By the time Fenerbahce’s players had found refuge in the tunnel, the field became littered with fans looking to harm the visiting team. Pictures and videos that came out of the incident show fans wildly swiping to take out Fenerbahce players as they retreated. At the same time, some Fener players traded blows with those who stormed the field. Whether those were out of self-protection or anger with the situation is unclear.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said the events that happened in Trabzon are unacceptable.

“It is never acceptable for violence to take place on football pitches – above all, sport is gentlemanship,” Ali Yerlikaya said. “An investigation has been initiated immediately to identify the spectators who entered the pitch and to investigate the incidents that took place at the end of the match.”

Arrests in Turkish Super Lig violence are the latest fan issues

Turkish police in Trabzon arrested 12 individuals for breaking onto the field and attacking Fenerbahce players on Sunday. It is the most recent edition of hooliganism and violence in the Turkish Super Lig, which has a reputation for this kind of behavior. Trabzonspor head coach Abdullah Avci said the sport in the country continues to fall into a darker place.

“We are going through a period that Turkish football is now completely fed by chaos, where tensions are constantly high, and where we cannot use the healing power of football,” Avci said.

Critics pointed to the behavior of the Fenerbahce players for celebrating on a rival’s pitch. Fenerbahce head coach Ismail Kartal says issues with that are unwarranted.

“I don’t understand why this place is so tense,” Kartal said. “Don’t we have the right to celebrate? We need to overcome these things. We need to be tolerant towards each other and have common sense.”

FIFA President says the safety of players must come first

FIFA President Gianni Infantino spoke about the issue by saying that there is no place in the game for this.

“I have said it before, and I will say it again. Without exception, in football, all players have to be safe and secure to play the game which brings such joy to so many people all over the world,” Infantino said. “I call on the relevant authorities to ensure that this is respected at all levels and for the perpetrators of the shocking events in Trabzon to be held accountable for their actions.”