Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Fenerbahçe walk off in Turkish Supercup protest

Fenerbahce walked off the field after three minutes of the rescheduled Turkish Supercup against Galatasaray on Sunday as a protest against alleged unfair treatment.

Fenerbahce fielded an Under-19 team for the game against their Istanbul rivals. Galatasaray went ahead after three minutes with a goal from Mauro Icardi. Fenerbahce then walked off, as Turkish media had reported ahead of the game that they planned to kick off and then forfeit the match.

“It is time for Turkish football to be reset,” said Fenerbahce president Ali Koc at a press conference before the match, more than 1,000 kilometres from Istanbul in Sanliurfa which was hit by the 2023 earthquake.

The proceeds from the game are to be donated to the victims of the quake which killed more than 53,500 people in Turkey.

Fenerbahce are chasing their first Turkish title since 2014 and are two points behind champions Galatasaray with seven rounds to go. Fenerbahce claim they are being picked on.

They had asked for the Supercup to be postponed ahead of their Europa League quarter-final against Olympiakos on Thursday.

The club also demanded that a foreign referee take charge citing unfavourable treatment from Turkish referees.

The Turkish Football Federation, which on Wednesday sentenced two Fenerbahce players to one-match suspensions after violence broke out during a pitch invasion in Trabzon at the end of a league match, rejected both requests.

The Supercup was originally scheduled for December 29 in Riyadh but the match was postponed at the last minute after Saudi organisers refused to allow players to wear warm-up shirts bearing the image of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, to celebrate the centenary of the Turkish Republic, saying political slogans were banned.

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