Turkey on Tuesday summoned Greece‘s ambassador in Ankara to its foreign ministry to convey its “strong protest” to the treatment of the Galatasaray soccer club ahead of a match in Athens a day earlier, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Galatasaray decided to pull out of a friendly soccer match against Olympiakos Piraeus and return home after accusing Greek officials of discrimination after they refused to accept the players’ PCR tests, the Turkish club said on Monday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had said on Twitter the club’s treatment in Greece was unacceptable and his ministry said he spoke by phone with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias about the incident.
Galatasaray described the incident as “clear discrimination against a Turkish team”, saying the results of the PCR tests which Galatasaray had previously carried out were not accepted by the Greek officials, who demanded new tests be conducted.
It said Greek customs and security officials behaved in an insulting way and created difficulties, prompting the club’s decision to return home.
Greece‘s Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said Tuesday’s friendly was not taking place in the context of an international event with an approved entry protocol, so all those arriving were subject to sampling PCR or rapid testing.
He said in a statement that the Turkish team refused to undergo a rapid test in accordance with Greek legislation.
“Given their refusal, the members of the mission were not allowed to enter our country, by my order,” he said.