Galatasaray, Beşiktaş to make their rain-delayed start
Workers try to clear the rain-soaked pitch at the Fiyapı İnönü Stadium in Istanbul prior to the Super League championship playoff game between Beşiktaş and Galatasaray.
Galatasaray and Beşiktaş will make their delayed start to the Super Final tonight after April 14’s game was forced to be postponed due to heavy rain.
The two Istanbul rivals will meet tonight at the Fiyapı İnönü Stadium to have their first game in the championship playoffs of the Spor Toto Super League.
Yesterday’s Fenerbahçe vs. Trabzonspor match became the first meeting of the Super Final playoffs after the postponement.
They were supposed to play the opening game of the post-season, but the game was halted before the kick-off, after referee Hüseyin Göçek decided the pitch was unplayable despite intensive work after being subjected to torrential rain on Saturday.
A few minutes later, Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chief spokesman Mete Düren announced the game was postponed to April 16.
“After the decision to halt the game, the TFF Executive Board held an immediate meeting and decided to reschedule the game to 8 p.m. on April 16 at the Fiyapı İnönü Stadium,” the statement read.
Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said it was the right decision to make. “There is nothing to do about it; there is no way the teams can play here. The ball is not rolling despite efforts [to clean the pitch],” Terim told LigTV. “The referee made the right decision. It is for the best to avoid injuries.”
However, the TFF decision to reschedule the game for Monday was criticized as well. According to the Super League code, a match suspended due to weather conditions should be rescheduled for the day after, but the TFF placed the Beşiktaş vs. Galatasaray game on Monday to avoid a clash with Sunday’s Fenerbahçe vs. Trabzonspor match in the Super Final.
“The game was postponed to Monday according to the article no. 14 of the Digiturk Code,” journalist Fırat Günayer jokingly tweeted after the decision.
If the game went ahead, it would mark the return of Felipe Melo and Albert Riera to the Galatasaray squad after two weeks due to being reprimanded by coach Terim.
The two were left out of the squad after participating in a fight.