A player for a third-tier Turkish soccer team is accused of slashing several opponents with what the team said was “a sharp object” concealed in his hand before their match in Diyarbakir.

Tevfik Köse, Dilaver Güçlü, Hacı Ömer Doğru and Ferhat Yazgan, of the Sakaryaspor team, have pressed charges against Amed SK’s Mansur Calar, sharing photos of their injuries on social media. Yazgan had multiple cuts on his neck and arm; Doğru had a small cut on his cheek. Sakaryaspor claimed its players were attacked as they inspected the pitch before their away match and during warmups. A player from each side was given a red card before the start of Saturday’s match, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

“After the match, our players were taken to hospital, and it was proved that those cuts were caused as a result of an assault with a sharp object,” the team said in a statement. “The issue is completely in the hands of the justice system.” Amed SK countered by accusing the media of a “smear campaign,” saying the accusation “does not reflect the reality. It aims to target our club.”

Video appears to show Calar concealing something sharp in his hand, smiling and slashing out at opponents, grabbing one by the neck.

According to the BBC, history and politics — both recent and long past — play a role in the animosity between the teams. Amed SK represents Diyarbakir, a city with a predominantly Kurdish population, and in a game between the teams in Sakaryaspor’s hometown of Adapazari in October, nationalistic songs glorifying the Turkish army were played. At that time, the Turkish army was participating in military operations against Kurdish militia in northern Syria. Adapazari is a small town that has traditionally had strong support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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