Football: Sneijder fights huge Galatasaray fine

Galatasaray`s Wesley Sneijder heads the ball during the Turkish Spor Toto Super League football match against Fenerbahce on April 13, 2016, in Istanbul.
Galatasaray`s Wesley Sneijder heads the ball during the Turkish Spor Toto Super League football match against Fenerbahce on April 13, 2016, in Istanbul. PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) - Galatasaray's Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder was on Friday (July 8) locked in a bitter conflict with the club after it reportedly ordered him to pay a fine of €2.3 million (S$3.43 million) for picking up 11 yellow cards last season.

Sneijder, a favourite with the Istanbul crowds since arriving in 2013 at Galatasaray, returned for pre-season training on Thursday saying he was sad over the events but there was no question currently of him leaving the club.

"I am really sorry for what has happened. It's not possible to say at the moment what is going to happen. We will wait and see what the coming days will bring," he told NTV television after flying into Istanbul.

"I do not give too much importance to the fine," he added.

According to Turkish media reports, Sneijder was one of 13 Galatasaray players fined by the club for yellow cards accumulated last season.

The controversy has sparked protests by angry fans outside the club's headquarters in the Florya district of Istanbul against club chairman Dursun Ozbek.

In a tweet in Turkish on his official account @sneijder101010 on Friday, Sneijder expressed thanks to the protesting fans.

"Galatasaray fans, thank you for your support on this day. I am grateful... I love you!"

According to the Hurriyet daily, Ozbek is to break his holiday in southern Turkey to hold crisis talks with the player over the weekend.

His powerful agent Guido Albers was however quoted in the Dutch media as saying Galatasaray were seeking to push the player out of the club before his contract expires in 2018 in the hope of reaping a hefty transfer fee.