Turkish Super Cup Final Postponed: Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahce Clash in Saudi Arabia Disrupted

The highly anticipated Turkish Super Cup final between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, set to take place in Saudi Arabia, faced an unexpected disruption and subsequent postponement. A disagreement between the clubs and the host nation’s authorities resulted in the match being called off after thousands of fans had already gathered inside Riyadh’s Al-Awwal Stadium.

Banner Dispute Over Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

The Turkish Football Federation, Galatasaray, and Fenerbahce cited “problems in organizing” the match as the reason for the postponement. The disagreement arose when Saudi authorities refused banners featuring the words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the revered father of modern Turkey. The clubs had intended to display Ataturk’s quote, “Peace at home, peace in the world,” on banners, a move not permitted by the host nation.

Ataturk’s Legacy and Reforms

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk played a pivotal role in modernizing Turkey, implementing revolutionary social and political reforms during his presidency from 1923 to 1938. His reforms included the emancipation of women, the abolition of Islamic institutions, and the adoption of Western legal codes, dress, calendar, and alphabet.

Restrictions on T-Shirts and Pitch Entry

In addition to the banner dispute, players were denied entry to the pitch while wearing T-shirts featuring Ataturk’s image, adding to the tensions surrounding the match.

Joint Decision to Postpone

Senior officials from Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, along with Turkish Football Federation president Mehmet Buyukeksi, held a meeting before collectively deciding to postpone the match. The joint statement by the TFF and the clubs expressed gratitude to the host country’s football federation and relevant institutions for their efforts in organizing the Super Cup.

Riyadh Season’s Perspective

The Riyadh Season, organizers of the match, expressed disappointment in the clubs’ failure to adhere to the agreed-upon terms, leading to the unfortunate postponement. They highlighted that the international soccer rules and regulations require matches to be presented without any slogans outside their scope.

Criticism and Alternative Suggestions

The decision to hold the Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia had faced criticism in Turkey, particularly in light of 2023 marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the modern Turkish Republic. Turkish Super Lig clubs Samsunspor and Besiktas had advocated for the match to be played at their stadiums.

The postponement adds a layer of complexity to the organization of the Turkish Super Cup final and raises questions about the future arrangements for the highly anticipated clash between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.


Q1: Why was the Turkish Super Cup final between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce postponed?

A1: The Turkish Super Cup final was postponed due to a disagreement between the clubs (Galatasaray and Fenerbahce) and the host nation’s authorities in Saudi Arabia, specifically concerning the display of banners featuring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s words.

Q2: What was the disagreement related to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s banners?

A2: The clubs intended to display banners featuring the words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the revered father of modern Turkey. However, Saudi authorities refused to permit these banners, leading to a dispute and subsequent postponement.

Q3: Who is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and why are his words significant?

A3: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk served as the first president of modern Turkey from 1923 to 1938. He implemented revolutionary reforms, including the emancipation of women and the adoption of Western legal codes. His words, such as “Peace at home, peace in the world,” are significant in Turkish history.

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