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Bizarre Turkish Supercup: Fenerbahce send in U19s – and abandon after one minute

The Turkish Supercup degenerated into an absolute farce on Sunday evening: Fenerbahce sent out its U19s as announced earlier in the afternoon – and abandoned the match in the second minute. Galatasaray were already leading 1-0 at that point

Turkish soccer experienced its next difficult moment in the 2023/24 season. The duel between league leaders Galatasaray (84 points) and Fenerbahce (82), eagerly awaited by many fans, turned into a farce.

Fener made its own statement in the ongoing dispute with the Turkish FA: As announced, the traditional club sent its U19s to Sanliurfa for the national Super Cup – and abandoned the match in the second minute.

Fenerbahce vice-president Erol Bilecik had made it clear in advance that the professional team would instead prepare for the Europa Conference League quarter-final at Olympiakos on Thursday – and that the game would “not last 90 minutes”. The 61-year-old also expressly advised fans not to travel to the final match.

Forced off the pitch by officials – bibs handed out

On Sunday, the barely filled stadium was practically only bathed in Galatasaray’s club colors, and coach Okan Buruk also fielded his first eleven. Right from the kick-off, a long ball was played to Yilmaz, who headed the ball to Icardi, who scored with a dry finish to make it 1:0 (1′). Fenerbahce’s U19s seemed to be caught off guard by the first attack. And was subsequently waved off the pitch by the officials. Icardi was applauded as the youth players ran towards the dressing room.

Shortly afterwards, Galatasaray erupted in jubilation, with the players’ crowd moving into the corner to celebrate. Eleven players then threw on their shirts – to give the fans something extra, the Turkish league leaders practised eleven-a-side

Fenerbahce’s battle with the Turkish FA

Fenerbahce, on the other hand, continue their battle with the federation. The reasons are complex. Initially, the TFF did not consider the punishments to be appropriate following serious rioting during the Süper Lig clash with Trabzonspor. At an extraordinary general meeting at the beginning of April, a vote was even taken on whether to leave the SüperLig – the majority of members decided against it.

The scheduling of the Super Cup final was seen as a further affront. After all, Fenerbahce were in the middle of their preparations for the Conference League quarter-finals. The match was originally scheduled to take place in Riyadh on December 29, 2023. However, because Saudi Arabia had banned both teams and the fans from commemorating the founding father Atatürk as part of the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the clash did not take place.

The Turkish FA resisted a further postponement – and did not want to provide a foreign referee, as requested by Fenerbahce. It is highly likely that record winners Galatasaray will be awarded their 18th title at the green table. Reigning cup winners Fenerbahce are concentrating fully on Europe and the championship race.

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