Tifo at the Conference League knockout round play-offs match where Trabzonspor took on FC Basel referred to the earthquake in Turkey. The hosts expressed their gratitude to all those involved in the relief effort and honored the victims.
An emotional match with an extraordinary setting
The whole world lives the tragedy in Turkey and Syria. On the February 6, these countries were hit by a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. The latest casualty statistics speak of around 40,000 dead, of which more than 35,000 died in Turkey. According to the director of the European branch of the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is the worst natural disaster in the region in a century. Moreover, it was ranked among the five deadliest earthquakes in the world since the beginning of the 20th century.
The Conference League knockout round play-offs match between Trabzonspor and FC Basel took place in the light of these events, with the hosts defeating the Swiss team 1:0. However, there was much more to this encounter than the athletic aspect alone. The emotional tifo presented by the club's supporters at Trabzonspor's stadium, Şenol Güneş Spor Kompleksi, attracted plenty of attention. Its main theme was a rescuer holding a baby in his arms. His helmet displays flags of the countries involved in providing help. Also, he wears a wristband that says "Thank You" in English. The rescuer and the baby are accompanied by a brave Mexican rescue dog named Proteo, who died during his duties. The background shows ruins of buildings, with a raised hand holding a Turkish flag.
The supporters of FC Basel also presented an exemplary attitude. They displayed a banner in English reading: "Our thoughts are with you". However, it wasn't just the tifos that drew attention to the tragic events in Turkey. The hosts made sure that the entire gathering took place in an appropriate atmosphere. Trabzonspor's match against FC Basel began with a minute of silence in honor of the earthquake victims, while the hosts celebrated their goal with the Turkish flag.
Stadiums became homes to those affected
Although the figures published by various institutions differ, it appears that more than one million people have become homeless as a result of the disaster. All of these people needed a temporary shelter before more advanced work could be undertaken to rebuild the damaged infrastructure. A remarkable help in this difficult task was provided by the local stadiums. In the affected areas, these facilities have been converted into temporary 'tent cities'. They are being used for both residential and organizational purposes. This is the case, for example, in the city of Kahramanmaraş, which was struck severely by the earthquake. The stadium of the local club Kahramanmaraşspor has provided a temporary living space for people affected by the catastrophe.
Of course, stadiums becoming shelters for earthquake survivors is no coincidence. These venues are well suited for this purpose as they do not pose a risk in case of aftershocks. These, unfortunately, haunted Turkey and Syria in the days following the first phase of the disaster, often destroying buildings that had initially survived.