The Ugly Truth Behind the Card Statistics Columnist and editor Onur Mutlu has commented on recent referee performances...

The 2023-2024 season in the Turkish football leagues seems to stand out as a special year in the archives. This season, particularly before the matches between and Galatasaray, appears to be marked by interesting statistics where both teams have been distancing themselves from their followers and continuing without dropping points.

As of the 29th week of the season, the foul and card statistics for the league as follows:

Fenerbahçe: Total fouls committed: 396 / Yellow cards: 78 / Red cards: 4

Galatasaray: Total fouls committed: 405 / Yellow cards: 55 / Red cards: 1

As can be understood from the above statistics, the referees' approaches to the two teams, especially in foul and card decisions, are significantly different. The issuance and non-issuance of yellow cards have a substantial impact on the fate of the league.

Another statistic is the number of fouls committed by opponents:

Number of fouls against Fenerbahçe: 449

Number of fouls against Galatasaray: 360

Opponents seem to be much more combative against Fenerbahçe, as evidenced by the statistics, and they do not show the same level of enthusiasm in matches against Galatasaray. For example, Trabzonspor's only committing 3 fouls in the away match against Galatasaray is not an acceptable statistic. Even if we assume a 10% refereeing error, the number of fouls committed against Galatasaray falls far behind that of Fenerbahçe.

At the beginning of the season, Turkish Football Federation President Mehmet Eksi was said to have strongly reacted to mistakes made in favor of Fenerbahçe and against Galatasaray. The above numbers are an indicator of how much influence the referees are under.

This season, Galatasaray was held in the championship race thanks to the referees, and the entire public is aware of this. The decisions made and not made by the referees in the final weeks of the league will be highly debated, and we will all see who will emerge as the champion as a result.

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