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Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahce: Turkish Super Cup Final Postponed In Riyadh

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Turkish Super Cup Final

(CTN News) – The Turkish Super Cup final, originally slated to take place in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, between arch-rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahce on Friday, faced an unexpected postponement.

Both clubs cited “some problems” in the event’s organization as the reason behind this decision.

Reports suggest that a central issue revolved around the desire of the Istanbul teams to don t-shirts depicting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, during the pre-match warm-up.

However, Saudi officials reportedly rejected this request, leaving the clubs unwilling to proceed with the Super Cup final at the King Saud University venue, also known as Al-Awwal Park stadium.

https://twitter.com/Fenerbahce/status/1740473935597068694?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1740473935597068694%7Ctwgr%5Ec100a0a00a3e62b26a5f0939451375c1dd3df6a7%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.skysports.com%2Ffootball%2Fnews%2F11095%2F13039195%2Fgalatasaray-vs-fenerbahce-turkish-super-cup-final-in-saudi-capital-of-riyadh-postponed

The timing of the match coincides with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the secular Turkish Republic, adding significance to the event. Notably, there has been no immediate comment from Saudi officials regarding the reported rejection of the request.

In a joint statement issued on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), the two clubs and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) declared, “The 2023 Super Cup has been postponed to a later date as a result of a joint decision we made with our clubs, due to some problems in its organisation.”

The statement did not provide details on where or when the rescheduled final would take place. However, it expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia’s football federation and authorities for their efforts in attempting to organize the event.

Additionally, media reports suggested that there were concerns about the disallowance of Turkey’s national anthem and flag at the final. However, the TFF had previously asserted that both would be featured, adding another layer of uncertainty to the unfolding situation.

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Turkish Super Cup Postponement and Soccer Controversies

The postponement of the Turkish Super Cup final in Riyadh occurred against the backdrop of a recent thaw in relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

This diplomatic shift was underscored by the visit of Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan, to Saudi Arabia in July, marking efforts to mend ties that had been strained following the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

The cancellation of the highly anticipated final contributed to what had already been a month fraught with controversy in Turkish soccer. In a notable incident, Faruk Koca, the president of top-tier club Ankaragucu, found himself in legal trouble on December 12.

He was arrested for physically assaulting a referee at the conclusion of a match.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) responded with a severe penalty, imposing a permanent ban on Koca and also imposing sanctions on Ankaragucu.

This turbulent period led to a temporary suspension of the Turkish league due to the escalating violence within the sport.

Upon its resumption, another startling event unfolded when Istanbulspor, during a Super Lig game against Trabzonspor, walked off the pitch in protest against a controversial refereeing decision.

The match was subsequently abandoned, adding to the series of contentious incidents that have characterized Turkish soccer in this eventful month.

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