Turkish Football News

Foreign fans on the rise in Turkish football

Foreigner fans flock to watch football games in Turkey

Turkish football continues to attract more and more foreigners as their numbers in attendance increases each season.

The total number of foreigners who have watched first- and second-tier football games in Turkey has totaled almost 132,000 in the last two-and-a-half seasons, according to data gathered from Passolig, the ticketing company.

The revival of Turkish tourism in 2017 helped the number of foreign football spectators who registered for games jump to 60,000 last season from 33,000 in the previous season, data showed.

As the current season nears the end of the first half, some 38,000 foreign fans have already registered for the system, a requirement for those who want to go to football games in Turkey, with officials foreseeing the season-end figure at 65,000.

Super Lig champions Galatasaray have attracted the highest number of foreigners in Turkey, getting twice as many followers as Besiktas’ 5,475 fans so far.

The heated Fenerbahce-Besiktas derby game on September 24 saw the highest number of foreigners in a game this season.

Fenerbahce, which is currently having the worst season in their history, and Black Sea giants Trabzonspor followed the top two in attracting foreigners but a tiny second-tier team, Istanbulspor, sits in fifth place, with 13,95 non-Turkish spectators this season.

Turkish Super League leaders Istanbul Basaksehir, along with Kasımpasa and Antalyaspor, failed to make it in the top five.

People from 90 countries have gone to football games in Turkey in the last two-and-a-half seasons.

German citizens topped the list, followed by Lebanese and Iraqis.

The Passolig ticketing system, which requires ID information of the ticket or season ticket buyers, was introduced at the end of the 2013-2014 season with aims to put an end to hooliganism.

The system was initially rejected by many die-hard fan groups, with the resistance declining in time.

Nearly 35.6 million foreigners visited Turkey in the first 10 months of this year, according to Culture and Tourism Ministry figures, which point to a 22.4 percent increase from some 29 million in the same period last year.

Russians have topped the overall visitors with 5.72 million people, followed by 4.15 million visitors from Germany.

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