Arif Kızılyalın

UEFA’s orchestrated whistle

07 Temmuz 2024 Pazar

More than 10,000 people participated in the traditional match march, while the German police were on high alert. Merih Demiral's suspension had already frayed nerves, and tension rose when someone in a Dutch fan climbed a pole as the Mehter March played. Just as things seemed to escalate, someone handed the Dutch fan a Turkish flag, and his gesture of kissing the flag calmed the crowd. Many fans made the Bozkurt sign in support of Demiral, but the police, deeming the march a political event, dispersed them. Meanwhile, President Erdogan's plane landed in Berlin. The stadium was packed, and we felt like the home team.

From the first whistle, the Netherlands played a controlled game, while we defended with Mert Müldür, Kaan Ayhan, Samet Akaydın, Abdülkerim Bardakci, and Ferdi Kadioglu. The game soon became a stalemate, but we earned consecutive corners. Arda Guler's cross led to Samet's emotional goal, not just against the Netherlands but also a statement to UEFA and detractors of our National Team. In the second half, the Netherlands strengthened by bringing on Wout Weghorst. We held firm with Arda Guler’s shot hitting the post and Kaan Ayhan's near-penalty. De Vrij’s goal was a cold shower for us. As our team's spirits dipped, we didn’t make substitutions. Persistent Dutch attacks culminated in Gakpo's goal, losing us the advantage. Though Cenk Tosun, Kerem Aktürkoğlu, and Zeki Çelik reignited our hopes, with Zeki and Kerem nearly scoring, Semih Kılıçsoy's shot and our semifinal dreams remained in Berlin. A note on the referee: UEFA’s orchestrated whistle was obvious! Missing the red card was unforgivable.


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