How Turkey contained Super Cup crisis with Saudi Arabia

Despite vicious jabs by detractors in the wake of a canceled soccer match between two Turkish teams in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 29, the Turkish government seems to have steered clear of the emotionally charged atmosphere.

Turkey’s popular sports clubs, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, were scheduled to play the Super Cup final in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Arranged by the Turkish Football Federation — reportedly without coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Turkish embassy in Riyadh — the event was supposed to help the two teams use Saudi Arabia’s newfound fame as a sports superpower while generating revenue for their coffers.

Instead, the match got canceled because of disagreements between the Fenerbahce and Galatasaray presidents on one side and Turkish federation officials and Saudi authorities on the other.

The teams wanted to do the pregame warm-up with T-shirts and banners featuring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of secular Turkey, to celebrate the centennial of the modern Turkish Republic. However, Saudi authorities reportedly blocked their way to the field on the grounds that the shirts and banners were not included in the contract signed by the Turkish Football Federation and their local counterparts. Fenerbahce President Ali Koc on Friday said the Football federation didn’t share the contract with the teams.

Source link