Fenerbahce walk off field and forfeit Turkish Super Cup final in protest

Fenerbahce walk off field and forfeit Turkish Super Cup final in protest

Fenerbahce walked off the pitch and forfeited their Super Cup final with Galatasaray in protest against the Turkish Football Federation.

The club fielded a starting line-up entirely of youth team players for the final against their arch rivals, with their first-team stars training back in Istanbul ahead of Thursday’s Europa Conference League tie at Olympiacos.

However, only one minute and 41 seconds was played at the Sanliurfa GAP Stadium when the Fenerbahce players left the field shortly after Mauro Icardi’s strike with 50 seconds on the clock.

Galatasaray celebrated wildly with their fans after victory was confirmed, while their opponents did not even acknowledge that the final took place on Sunday evening on their social media channels.

In a statement released on the club’s official website, Fenerbahce president Yildirim Ali Koc said: “Our rebellion today, our stance in the Super Cup, is not only about the date of the match or what happened in the last away match.

“It is time for a ‘reset’ for Turkish football. We are in a period when the swamp must be drained and Turkish football must rebuild itself. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

“I hope that the justified rebellions of our club and the actions we decided to take out of necessity will ignite the cleansing process that needs to be done.

“This is the time when impartiality, fair competition and sporting ethics must come to the fore.”

Fenerbahce previously announced their intentions to field a team of academy players for the final due to their grievances against the Turkish football governing body.

Fenerbahce players were attacked by Trabzonspor fans after their 3-2 away victory on March 17, which resulted in the Super Lig club receiving a six-match spectator ban and a fine of £74,105.

Trabzonspor appealed against the sanctions following the incident, where 12 people arrested, and were earlier this week reduced to a stadium ban of four games and £11,066 fine.

As a result, Fenerbahce held an extraordinary general meeting with their members where they agreed to request for the Super Cup final to be rearranged once again with a foreign referee, which was rejected by TFF.

The final was originally slated for December 30 last year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but was postponed after both teams planned to wear t-shirts of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – the original founder of Turkey – in the build-up.

The members voted for the club not to participate in the Turkish Cup for the next two seasons, unless fielding an academy line-up, while also calling for action from FIFA and UEFA against the governing body.

Source: independent.co.uk