Turkish football fans are famous for their intense support, who can forget the ‘Welcome To Hell‘ banner which greeted Manchester United in 1993. So it was no surprise when Supporters of Super Lig club Eskisehirspor responded in defiant style after the Turkish F.A. introduced a stadium wide ban on the use of flares.
Whilst I don’t wish to strain Turkish/Greek relations any further, it’s worth pointing out that the award for the most creative use of flares during a game should go Greek side PAOK FC. In 2014 their fans turned the Toumba Stadium into a scene from Dante’s inferno. Just check out the insane footage display below.
The use of flares in football is controversial. Many fans feel they add drama and a sense of spectacle to a match, but footballing authorities have legitimate safety concerns regarding their use. In recent years a number of fans have been seriously injured and deaths have also occurred. In 1993 a man was killed when a flare which was fired during a World Cup qualifier between Wales and Romania hit him in the neck.
The tragedy in Wales is not the only fatality involving flares. In 2013 a 13-year-old boy was killed by a flare during a match between Corinthians and San Jose in South America. In March 1992 a 13-year-old Spanish boy was killed by a flare that hit him in the chest at Espanyol’s old Sarria stadium in Barcelona on his first visit to a football match. Although it seems that these deaths are related to the use of rocket style Marine Flares the potential for injury and or fire makes the use of flares a big concern for footballing authorities the world over.