Turkish League Suspended in the Aftermath of Mikel Obi, Trabzonspor Spat

Turkish League Suspended in the Aftermath of Mikel Obi, Trabzonspor Spat

The Turkish Süper Lig has been postponed until further notice in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkish Leagues including the topflight, Super Lig had continued in spite of the COVID-19 spread across the continent, but the matches were played behind closed doors this week.

 


Earlier on Thursday, world players’ union FIFPro called for the campaign in Turkey to be stopped amid the continued spread of Covid-19.

 

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) later confirmed the four tiers of professional football in the nation would be suspended.

 

A TFF statement said the leagues will be postponed to a “later date” after “the works to be carried out in line with the developing conditions”.

 

It is likely the decision followed the aftermath of the widely reported spat between Trabzonspor and their Nigerian player Mikel Obi.

 

The 32 year-old had criticized the football authorities for allowing the league continue with the Coronavirus pandemic becoming a growing threat.

 

In his IG post Mikel called for a suspension of the league and for footballers to “be with their families” in “this critical time”.

 

He said the “season should be cancelled as the world is facing such turbulent times.”

 

The footballer’s contract was subsequently terminated by Trabzonspor by “mutually consent”.

 

Besiktas’ on-loan Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius also wrote on Instagram: “I do not feel comfortable and don’t want to play football in this situation.”

 

Europe’s top five leagues in England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France, as well as the Champions League and Europa League, are among the competitions to be paused during the pandemic.

 

On Thursday, Turkey Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed 168 new cases pandemic and the fourth death.

 

The number of confirmed cases totals 242,092 while the death toll now exceeds 9,800 and over 84,900 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.

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