Greece-Turkey diplomatic spat over COVID-19 testing of Turkish soccer team


Turkish authorities have erupted in a furor after the country’s soccer team Galatasary was asked to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Athens on Monday. 

Greek authorities allege the players and coach Fatih Terim refused to follow random testing procedures which require all overseas visitors to re-test for COVID-19 regardless of any prior negative test result. 

“No exceptions can be made to safety rules. The application of those procedures must be absolute,” deputy minister for Civil Protection, Nikos Hardalias, said in a statement. 

“Given their refusal to comply with those rules, they were refused entry into the country on my orders.”

The scheduled match between the Olympiakos and Galatasary soccer teams was canceled after the Galatasary team was denied entry and sent back to Istanbul. 

Greek Ambassador Michael-Christos Diamessis was reportedly scolded by the Turkish Foreign Ministry over the ‘illegal’ and ‘discriminatory’ request, according to state-run Turkish news outlet Anadolu Agency. 

“The fact that Greece welcomes one of our country’s leading teams with such behaviour shows its intolerance towards our country, even in the field of sports,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Turkish Football Federation said the players had been treated in an “unacceptable” way. 

“We condemn the attitude adopted by the Greek authorities. Their behaviour was not in a sporting spirit. We stand by Galatasaray sports club,” the federation said.

Tensions between Greece and Turkey are currently high over maritime boundaries and the respective rights of ethnic and religious minorities in each country. 

Source: AP




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne homecoming soured by Tottenham loss

It definitely wasn't the homecoming that Ange Postecoglou was expecting when he arrived back in Melbourne for his Tottenham side to play Newcastle United on Wednesday night. Instead of a victory...

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar lands in Melbourne despite tensions

The Turkish Cypriot leader of the illegitimate “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” Ersin Tatar landed in Melbourne on Wednesday, May 22

Identity and forgotten history hot topics at 2024 Greek Australian Writer’s Festival

Identity and forgotten history were hot topics at 2024 Greek Australian Writer's Festival. Read the full story here.

In the footsteps of Digenis Akritas: Melbourne exhibition celebrates Hellenic unity

A new Melbourne exhibition fosters a deeper understanding of the shared history and culture of Greeks from Cyprus.

Pericles Moustakas takes over as coach of Apollon FC Youth team

Apollon Football (Public) Ltd has announced the beginning of its collaboration with Greek-Cypriot Australian, Pericles Moustakas.

You May Also Like

Crowds gather in London as the Queen leaves Buckingham Palace for the last time

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to file past the body of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state at Westminster Hall in London.

Ferry crew face charges for passenger death at Greek port

A ferry's captain and three crew members face homicide charges in connection with the death of passenger, Antonis Karyotis, at Piraeus port.

Greek Australians remember slaughter of Pontian Greeks at the Australian Hellenic Memorial

Greek Australians remember slaughter of Pontian Greeks but few politicians are present. Mary Sinanidis reports for The Greek Herald.