Turkish Süper Lig football clubs Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray have called for next month’s Super Cup match to be relocated from Al-Awwal Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and played on home soil.
It was announced last month that the fixture would take place in Saudi Arabia to coincide with the ongoing Riyadh Season festival currently being held in the capital. The match is set to be organised in coordination with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).
The match is scheduled to take place at the 25,000-capacity stadium on December 29 but there have been calls for the fixture to be held on home soil as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.
The Super Cup is contested by the winners of the previous season’s Süper Lig and Turkish Cup. Galatasaray won the league last season, with fellow Istanbul club Fenerbahçe lifting the Turkish Cup.
During a Fenerbahçe board meeting on Sunday, it was proposed that the Super Cup be played either at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium or Samsun 19 Mayis Stadium. The proposal was accepted unanimously by board members.
Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium, which has a capacity of over 74,000, hosted last year’s Super Cup and also staged the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan back in June.
Samsun 19 Mayis Stadium has a capacity of around 33,000 and serves as the home of Süper Lig club Samsunspor. The city of Samsun was where the Turkish Republic was established in October 1923.
Galatasaray also discussed the potential relocation of the match during a board meeting held yesterday (Monday). The club has called for the Super Cup to be held on Turkish soil to coincide with the 100th anniversary celebrations.
Saudi Arabia has previously hosted the Supercopa de España and the Supercoppa Italia. The country is also set to be awarded hosting rights for the 2034 FIFA World Cup after Australia recently pulled out of the race to stage the event.
In September, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, dismissed claims that the Kingdom’s vast investment in sports events and properties represents ‘sportswashing’, stating that he “doesn’t care” about this label so long as it continues to boost GDP.