Turkish Super Cup final in Riyadh canceled over jersey dispute with Saudi officials


The Turkish Super Cup final to be played in Saudi Arabia on Friday was canceled after a dispute with Saudi authorities over the players’ jerseys, Turkish media reported.

HaberTurk television and other media said the Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray players wanted to wear T-shirts pictured with modern Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, during a prematch warm-up but were not authorized to do so by Saudi organizers.

The players insisted on the T-shirts because the Super Cup coincides with the centennial anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic by Ataturk. Galatasaray and Fenerbahce earlier pressed for the game to be played on home soil rather Saudi Arabia.

The players from the two Istanbul clubs left Riyadh’s Al-Awwal Park Stadium and were returning home, media reported.

A joint statement by the Turkish Football Federation and the clubs said the final “was postponed to a later date” citing “organizational disruptions,” and thanked Saudi Arabia for its efforts in organizing the game.

The oil-rich kingdom has moved in recent years to stage international games and tournaments ahead of the men’s World Cup it is all but certain to host in 2034.

Spain and Italy are set to stage their Super Cups in Saudi Arabia in January.

Earlier, media reports claimed Turkey’s national anthem would not be played and Turkish flags would not be allowed in the stadium, but Turkish officials denied those reports.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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