The Galatasaray football squad has returned from Athens after what they have called rude treatment and the rejection of their PCR tests by Greek officials, CNN Türk reported on Monday.
The team flew to Athens earlier on Mondayfor an exhibition match against Olympiacos.
Some members of the squad were told by Greek officials that the COVID-19 PCR tests they completed 72 hours before the trip were invalid, despite a mutual recognition protocol on the tests between the two countries, Galatsaray said in a statement it released on Monday.
“Our squad began the procedures to return to Istanbul after all efforts failed,” Galatasaray said, noting that the squad was made to wait over two hours and denied access to lounge facilities at the airport.
Following a two hour wait and an intervention by Turkish ambassador, the squad was finally provided with water, according to Deniz Gülen, a reporter with the team’s television station, Galatasaray TV.
Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu condemned the incident on Twitter.
The episode takes place against a backdrop of ongoing tensions between the neighbouring countries, including over refugees and hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.