Didier Drogba in love with Turkey despite racism controversy
Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba responded to allegations that a Fenerbahçe fan had racially abused black players during the Intercontinental Derby on Sunday via his Instagram account.
Drogba initially said, “You call me monkey but you cried when Chelsea beat Fenerbahce in 2008, you called me monkey but you jumped in front of your screen when I won the Champions League.
“You called me monkey but you got mad when I became champion with Galatasaray and the saddest thing is you called me monkey and forgot that you jumped when my ‘monkey’ brother scored twice yesterday... and you call yourself a true fan?
"Check all the Galatasaray fans comments and learn from them.”
The controversy arose after images of a Fenerbahçe waving a banana from the stands were published. The media reported the incident as being directed at Galatasaray's black players.
The spectator in question dismissed reports that his actions were racist and claimed that he was being misrepresented.
The fan said “A fellow spectator offered me a banana and I took it to eat it. At that time, the crowd was chanting against Muslera and then I also joined and chanted together with others. I didn't show the banana as an act of racism. I have fought against racism throughout my life.
“I have watched Drogba with great joy for years. Such racist act is unacceptable by all. I still apologize to my team and all Galatasaray fans,” he added.
Vatan newspaper photographer Doğan Çil - who took the picture - later confirmed that the image was taken before the game had started and that only Fernando Muslera and goalkeeper coach Cláudio Taffarel were on the pitch at the time.
Çil said, "The photo was taken between 19.05 to 19.10, neither side was on the field at time except for Fernando Muslera and Claudio Taffarel."
Drogba later released another comment on his Instagram account underlining his love for Turkey and highlighting that these type of incidents can happen anywhere.
"Please don't get me wrong being in turkey since the last 5 months is the best thing that could have happen in my career," Drogba said.
"I'm already in love with Turkey and Turkish people,I've been playing against many teams in the country and they were always respectful despite me playing for Gsk [Galatasaray].
"Thats why I can't and will never change my opinion about this beautiful country.
"Stupid people are all around the world it's up to us to educate them.
"Now more than ever I will continue to promote Turkish football everywhere in the world as much I can and represent my team the best I can."
Drogba joined Galatasaray on a free transfer from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in January. The Ivory Coast international has five goals and six assists from 12 league appearances.
Galatasaray made history by having the highest number of African players to feature in a Turkish Super League championship winning side this season.
Fenerbahçe have four black players, Moussa Sow, Pierre Webo, Joseph Yobo and Cristian Baroni. The club has a long history with black players and was the first Turkish side to appoint a black manager in 1972 - Brazilian legend Didi managed the Yellow Canaries between 1972-75.
Racism directed towards black players is rare in Turkey, racist chanting isn't a part of Turkish fan culture and there are no supporter groups linked to Neo-Nazi ideologies or movements.