The Turkish Super Cup final match between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, which was supposed to take place in Saudi capital, has been cancelled. There seemed to be a debate over the players’ uniforms, which led to the conclusion.
The two clubs and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) both said that “some problems” in the match’s planning led to the choice. After the match was put on hold on Friday, both teams traveled back to Istanbul a day later.
During a pregame warm-up, footballers from both Istanbul football teams expressed a desire to put on T-shirts featuring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, according to local tv and other Turkish outlets. The Saudi organizers did not approve of the decision.
The esteemed Ataturk is the architect of the contemporary Turkish republic. Additionally, Turkish media stated that Saudi officials forbade the exhibition of Ataturk T-shirts and posters with political messages before to the event. Among the limitations were those with the motto “peace at home, peace in the world”, the famous Ataturk slogan.
The teams declined to participate in the championship match at Al-Awwal Park Stadium, home of King Saud University.
A statement from the organizers claimed by Saudi state TV that the teams’ noncompliance with match conditions was the reason for the cancelation. “We were looking forward to holding the match on time in accordance with the international soccer rules and regulations that require the sport to be presented without any slogans outside its scope,” part of the statement read.
“Despite this agreement, it was unfortunate that the two teams did not adhere to what had been agreed upon, which led to the match not being held,” it explained further.
The location and date of the final have not yet been announced.
“The 2023 Super Cup… has been delayed to another time as a result of a joint decision we made with our clubs, due to some problems in its organization,” a joint statement issued by the TFF and the clubs that was uploaded on X asserted.
Additionally, it sent its appreciation to the responsible organizations and the football association of the host nation for their assistance in holding the occasion. Given that Turkey was celebrating its 100th year as a nation this year, many supporters had demanded that the yearly game be held there.
For Turkish football, the postponement of yesterday’s match has compounded the scandal that has dogged the last month of 2023. Earlier in December, Faruk Koca, the president of team Ankaragucu, was taken into custody after striking the match referee in his nose. That occurred following the conclusion of his team’s Super Lig home game against Rizespor. As a result, the Turkish League was suspended.
Photos and footages from Saturday’s games at the Istanbul and Sabiha Gokcen airports depicted countless fans of Galatasaray and Fenerbahce celebrating, waving national flags, and holding portraits of Ataturk.
The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey has recently warmed up. In an attempt to mend fences, Turkish President traveled to Saudi Arabia in July, 2023. Ankara and Riyadh had their relations strained following the controversial murder of Saudi journalist in its consulate in Istanbul. A US investigation later revealed that Saudi leaders, including the crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, perpetrated the murder operation.