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29 Dec 23 19:44
Date Joined: 08 May 14
| Topic/replies: 8,936 | Blogger: ProSniper's blog
ANKARA — The Super Cup final between Turkey's Galatasaray and Fenerbahce scheduled to be played in Riyadh on Friday was canceled after Saudi authorities reportedly refused to allow posters of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of secularist modern Turkey, and banners featuring his dictums in the stadium.

In protest, both leading Istanbul teams refused to take the pitch and began preparing to return home, Turkey’s public broadcaster, TRT, reported.

The tensions involving the Saudi authorities, the Turkish Football Federation and the teams surfaced earlier on Friday, when Fenerbahce President Ali Koc announced to the press that Saudi authorities were not permitting fans to open a banner reading, “Peace at home, peace in the world,” one of Ataturk’s famous sayings.

“As far as I understand, the authorities did not accept it," he said. "We are trying to solve the problem."

Koc's remarks quickly caused a storm on social media, with thousands of Turkish users calling on teams to return to Turkey and cancel the game.

A meeting between Koc, Galatasaray President Dursun Ozbek and soccer federation head Mehmet Buyukeksi as well as intense contacts with Saudi authorities failed to resolve the impasse.

Minutes before the match, which was set to begin at 8:45 p.m. Istanbul time, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and other prominent Turkish soccer clubs shared pictures of Ataturk on their social media accounts. Saudi authorities deployed police officers to the locker room to check if their uniforms bore Ataturk’s image, the TRT said.

A joint statement released by the teams and Turkey’s Football Federation later on said the game was postponed due to “glitches,” without elaborating.

“The 2023 Super Cup game has been postponed to a later date in a  joint decision we made with our clubs due to some glitches in the organization,” it read.

Turkey’s already beleaguered soccer federation, facing allegations of match-fixing and cronyism, had also come under intense criticism for its decision to organize the game in the Saudi capital during the centennial of the modern Turkish republic.

“FB-GS Super Cup should have been played in Samsun 19 Mayıs stadium in the country’s 100th year,” Sinan Ulgen, a former diplomat and senior fellow at Carnegie Europe, posted on X, in reference to Turkey’s Black Sea coastal province where Ataturk kicked off Turkey’s fight for independence after World War I. “Preference to play abroad, let alone in Saudi Arabia, is a big mistake in such a year.”
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Report SontaranStratagem December 29, 2023 7:58 PM GMT
Why are they staging Turkish matches in another country ffs
Report lurka December 29, 2023 9:30 PM GMT
The Egyptian Super Cup was on in UAE as well. 4 teams, 2 semis and a 3rd place play off as well. What is the point?
Report ProSniper December 30, 2023 5:20 PM GMT
The point is $$$$$. Arabs have it to burn and Europeans obviously ain't proud enough to turn it down. Then when the visitors decide they want to put out some sort of "message"(usually against the beliefs or respect to their hosts).. problems arise.
Report SirNorbertClarke December 30, 2023 8:34 PM GMT
You have to bend right over for those petrodollars
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