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Fenerbahçe walks off field in Turkish Super Cup protest

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Fenerbahçe walked off the field within three minutes of the start of the rescheduled Turkish Super Cup against their İstanbul rival Galatasaray on Sunday in protest of alleged unfair treatment.

Fenerbahçe fielded their under-19 team, and when Galatasaray scored in the first minute with a goal from Mauro Icardi, Fenerbahçe walked off before play resumed. Turkish media had reported ahead of the game that they planned to kick off and then forfeit the match.

“It is time for a reset in Turkish football,” said Fenerbahçe president Ali Koç at a press conference before the match.

The event was held more than 1,000 kilometers from İstanbul in Şanlıurfa. The region was hit by devastating earthquakes in 2023 that killed at least 53,500 in Turkey alone. Proceeds from the game are to be donated to victims of the disaster.

Fenerbahçe is chasing its first Turkish title since 2014 and is two points behind champions Galatasaray with seven rounds to go. Fenerbahçe claims it has been treated unjustly.

The team had asked for the Super Cup to be postponed ahead of their Europa League quarterfinal against Olympiacos on Thursday. The club had also asked for a foreign referee, citing unfavorable treatment from Turkish referees.

The Turkish Football Federation, which on Wednesday sentenced two Fenerbahçe 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 Super Cup was originally scheduled for December 29 in Riyadh, but the match was postponed at the last minute after Saudi organizers refused to allow players to wear warm-up shirts bearing the image of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, to celebrate the centenary of the Turkish Republic, saying political slogans were banned.

© Agence France-Presse


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