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The Turkish Super Cup final between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray has been cancelled amid a dispute with hosts Saudi Arabia.

Both teams did not report to the Al-Awwal Park stadium ahead of the 8.45pm local time (5.45pm GMT) kick-off for the match, as clubs held talks with the Turkish Football Federation.

The Turkish Football Federation issued a joint statement with the two clubs to confirm the match has postponed and will take place at a later date.

‘In order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our Republic and the Turkish Football Federation abroad, the 2023 Super Cup competition, which we organised with our clubs in a way that will contribute to the brand value of Turkish Football and our clubs, is planned to be played on Friday, December 29,’ the statement read.

‘As a result of the joint decision, it was postponed to a later date.

Turkish Super Cup ‘CANCELLED’ in Riyadh with fans inside the stadium as Fenerbahce and Galatasaray players ‘refuse to leave hotels’ with Saudi Arabia ‘banning banner display of Turkey’s founder’

The Turkish Super Cup has been cancelled in Saudi Arabia over a dispute with the hosts

Fans were pictured inside the stadium ahead of kick-off but neither team arrived at the venue

Fans were pictured inside the stadium ahead of kick-off but neither team arrived at the venue

Talks between the clubs and the Turkish Football Federation reportedly failed to find a solution

Talks between the clubs and the Turkish Football Federation reportedly failed to find a solution

‘We would like to thank the Football Federation and relevant institutions and organisations of the host country for the efforts they have made so far in the organisation of the Super Cup.’

The dispute reportedly centred around Saudi Arabian authorities blocking both clubs from displaying banners and wearing shirts featuring the words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, modern Turkey’s founder.

The match coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish republic.

Reports had earlier claimed Saudi officials had blocked Turkey’s national anthem from being played ahead of the match. These reports were denied by the Turkish Football Federation. 

‘The Super Cup match will start in the presence of our Turkish flag, with 100th anniversary celebration events, a moment of silence for our martyrs and our National Anthem to be read by artist Norm Ender,’ the federation told Anadolu Agency.

Galatasaray President Dursun Ozbek and Fenerbahce counterpart Ali Koc reportedly held a crunch meeting with Turkish Football Federation President Mehmet Buyukeksi to determine whether the match would take place.

Galatasaray had announced prior to the match the team would wear a special shirt to commemorate the 100th anniversary celebrations.

‘We will go to the Fenerbahce match with our jersey specially prepared for the 100th anniversary of our Republic,’ Galatasaray wrote on social media.

Turkish reports claim Saudi authorities did not allow a banner featuring the statement ‘Peace at Home, Peace in the World’ and Ataturk t-shirts being displayed ahead of the match.

Galatasaray staff were pictured leaving the stadium after the match did not take place

Galatasaray staff were pictured leaving the stadium after the match did not take place

Turkish media reports confirmed the cancellation after the match failed to kick off on time

Turkish media reports confirmed the cancellation after the match failed to kick off on time

Lights of the stadium were switched off with fans leaving the venue after the cancellation

Lights of the stadium were switched off with fans leaving the venue after the cancellation

The cancellation is the latest controversy to hit Turkish domestic football in the past month

The cancellation is the latest controversy to hit Turkish domestic football in the past month

Cumhuriyet reported talks have failed to deliver a solution with the match now having been cancelled.

Fans had been pictured inside the stadium in anticipation of the match, but later left after confirmation the match had been cancelled. 

The lights of the stadium were then switched off, with Galatasaray staff also pictured leaving the venue in a coach.

Both clubs are reportedly expected release a joint statement following the cancellation and are due to leave Saudi Arabia this evening. 

Footage emerged on social media reportedly showing Galatasaray packing their coach ahead of the travelling to the airport. 

Official confirmation of the decision is yet to be announced by either club or the Turkish Football Federation.

Fellow Turkish Super Lig clubs Besiktas and MKE Ankaragucu, however, have since offered to host the final at a later date.

‘Our Door is Open,’ a Besiktas statement read.

‘We expect Ataturk lovers to Dolmabahçe with Turkish flags to play the Super Cup final, which will be played in the 100th anniversary of our Republic, on an appropriate date, in our Ataturk’s district, in the most beautiful stadium in the world.’

Ankaragucu added: ‘The Super Cup final, formerly known as the President’s Cup; This is our invitation to TFF and our clubs to play in our capital Ankara on the 100th anniversary of our Republic.’

Reigning Turkish champions Galatasaray had been due to face rivals and Turkish Cup winners Fenerbahce in the final.

The match had been due to take place outside Turkish for only the fifth time, with Germany hosting on three occasions and Qatar once.

The rivals were meeting less than a week after the teams clashed, with Galatasaray forward Mauro Icardi posting a picture with a black eye he sustained in the match.

Referee Halil Umut Meler (above) was released from Ankara hospital earlier this month

Referee Halil Umut Meler (above) was released from Ankara hospital earlier this month

Meler was punched in the head during his side's game against Rizespor on December 11

Meler was punched in the head during his side’s game against Rizespor on December 11

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The latest controversy comes after referee Halil Umut Meler was punched at the end of a Turkish top-flight match at the start of the month.

Former Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca ran on to the field and attacked Meler after his team conceded a 97th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 Super Lig draw with Caykur Rizespor in Turkey.

Speaking about the incident, Meler told Turkish outlet Hurriyet: ‘The person who did this punched me, I collapsed and fell to the ground. But the actual kicking while I was on the ground will be something I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Koca was handed a lifetime ban by Turkey’s football federation

The Turkish football federation’s disciplinary board has also ordered Ankaragucu to play five home matches behind closed doors and fined the club 60,000 euros ($66,000).

All leagues were suspended by the TFF the aftermath and the top-flight resumed on Tuesday. But one of the three games scheduled was abandoned when Istanbulspor’s president withdrew his team from the pitch in protest at a refereeing decision in their game against Trabzonspor.





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