OWN GOAL: Galatasaray players test positive for COVID-19 after Turkey creates diplomatic row with Greece

Galatasaray Athens airport

Two Galatasaray footballers tested positive for COVID-19 days after Turkey manufactured a diplomatic row with Greece.

According to an announcement posted by the Turkish team, “today footballers and technical staff underwent a PCR test. The result was two of our players found tested positive.”

“The health protocol has already been implemented and the two football players have been quarantined,” the announcement added.

It is recalled that on Tuesday, the friendly match between Olympiacos and Galatasaray was scheduled but postponed as the leaders of the Turkish club refused to comply with Greek health protocols and refused to be tested again.

It all started when the Turkish football team landed in Athens in order to play a friendly match against Olympiacos.

At Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, the Turkish club were told they would have to undergo new rapid COVID-19 test despite the team bringing their own test results from Turkey.

This, however, was not accepted by the visiting club, something that caused a diplomatic row, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu weighing in on trying to change Greece’s health protocols.

According to Turkish media, Galatasaray waited more than 1.5 hours for the issue to be resolved, something that did not happen, resulting in their decision to return to Turkey.

According to Greek health protocols, a negative COVID-19 test is required in the last 24 hours, however Galatasaray had a test in the last 72 hours, a fact that was not accepted by Greek authorities.

In addition, Turkey is a country where according to the protocol, those who come to Greece are obliged to take a rapid test.

Based on this, members of the club were asked to undergo a rapid test but they refused, citing the test they already had.

The Turkish Foreign Minister spoke about the so-called “suffering” and “ill-treatment” of Galatasaray in Athens.

Earlier, Çavuşoğlu commented via Twitter on the “blockade” of Galatasaray, calling the Greek side’s stance unacceptable, essentially politicising an issue concerning health rules.

Galatasaray even demanded an “apology” for the “violation of human rights.”

The Turkish Football Federation also issued a statement: “We condemn the behaviour of the Greek authorities that are not in line with the spirit of sports.”

The Minister of Sports of Turkey, Mehmet Kasapoğlu, also took a stand on what happened, saying: “I unequivocally condemn this outdated behavior.”

However, following the announcement that two Galatasaray players tested positive for COVID-19, social media lit up with questions of whether an apology will be issued to Greece and also mentions of the fact that “the Greeks were correct.”

“Get well soon, but this statement shows how well the Greeks, who we don’t like, are doing. While we are taking everyone that comes to our country without vaccination and testing, it shows how serious the men are and they are right!”

“When Greece sent you back as a precautionary measure, you made the nation do cheap nationalism… It means they were right when they sent you back.”

“Hahahahahahaha, you justified the Greeks, idiots.”

“Greece was right.”

https://twitter.com/_Yanalist/status/1416145511556567042

“When you aren’t let into Greece because they want to retest some of the players, turn it into a political issue and then you turn up back home and the first test you do there are two positives.”

So the Greeks had done everything right after all?”

https://twitter.com/FenerbahceDEU/status/1416135495243997187

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