Galatasaray, Beşiktaş draw behind closed doors
Playing in an empty stadium, Galatasaray was held to a goalless draw by Beşiktaş in the Turkish Süper Lig amid calls for the league to be suspended due to the global pandemic coronavirus.
With the result, Galatasaray extended its unbeaten streak to 10 matches as the defending champion’s last league defeat was a 2-1 loss at Göztepe in Week 16.
Having 50 points, Galatasaray remained in the third spot and Besiktaş with 44 points in the fifth place of the table.
Speaking after the match, Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim made a call for the suspension of the league instead of playing behind closed doors.
“We are facing a global problem, countries issue state of emergencies, schools are shut down, flights are canceled,” said Terim.
“All major leagues around the world have been suspended. I will tell the truth, this is about the lives of me, you, the players. There are 850 accredited people here, all our lives are at risk. If the games are suspended, we send all players home, nobody should feel bad.”
Galatasaray’s Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera’s reaction was much harsher.
“This was an embarrassing night,” he said after the game. “There is no need to talk about football on such a night. We played without fans, but aren’t we human? The staff, opponent players, everybody face this risk. The games are suspended in Europe, but we play here. Why? This is disrespectful both to us and the supporters.”
Leader Trabzonspor was also held to a draw at home, playing against closest rival Başakşehir.
Demba Ba of the visiting side found the goal for his team in the 56th minute, while Trabzonspor’s goal came from Başakşehir defender Martin Skrtel when the Slovak player scored an own goal in the 63rd minute.
The home team remained top of the league with 53 points, while second-placed Başakşehir is separated by goal difference.
Trabzonspor president Ahmet Ağaoğlu rejected the idea of league suspension.
“While there was no such thing two days ago, what has changed,” he told reporters after the game.
“There is an ongoing competition. If the leagues are suspended, in a month we will not be able to find judges to decide on divorce cases. Football is something that used for the people in this country to relive their stress.”
Fenerbahçe, meanwhile, extended its winless streak in the league to seven games, losing 1-0 at nine-man Konyaspor.
The home side found the match’s only goal with forward Riad Bajic in the 41st minute.
Konyaspor defender Nejc Skubic and midfielder Ömer Ali Şahiner were sent off the second half of the match.
The win increased Konyaspor’s points tally to 26, placing the team in the 14th spot in the standings.
Elsewhere in Week 26 games, Ankaragücü beat Rizespor 2-1, Kasımpaşa won 2-0 at home over Göztepe, Gençlerbirliği lost 1-0 at Denizlispor, Alanyaspor wins 1-0 against Gaziantep and Kayserispor was the 2-1 winner at home to Malatyaspor.