Istanbul giants Fenerbahce and Galatasaray will clash in a crunch derby on April 13 after the original fixture was postponed over fears of a terror attack, the Turkish Football Federation said on Monday.
The match, which was due to have been played on March 20, was postponed for security reasons even as fans were starting to enter the ground.
The cancellation of the match came a day after a suicide bomber with links to the Islamic State (IS) group blew himself up in Istanbul’s busiest shopping street, killing three Israelis and one Iranian.
The chairman of the Turkish Football Federation Yildirim Demiroren said the new date had been agreed as a compromise after Fenerbahce pushed for April 6 and Galatasaray April 28.
“Both clubs have expressed their respect for this decision and I thank them for looking on this positively,” he said, quoted by Turkish media.
No precise information was given on the nature of the threat to the postponed game but the Istanbul governor’s office said the cancellation was due to “serious information”.
The tensely-contested derby match, always seen as the highlight of the Turkish soccer calendar, will be of crucial importance as Fenerbahce seek to impose their title credentials.
Burdened by a dreadful start to the season, Galatasaray are out of title contention in fifth place. But Fenerbahce are locked in a tight race for the title with Istanbul’s other main side, Besiktas.
Besiktas currently lead Fenerbahce by four points but the yellow-kitted canaries have a game in hand after the postponement of the Galatasaray derby.
Galatasaray may have to play the match without its Dutch striker Wesley Sneijder who picked up an injury last week during the Netherlands’ clash with France.
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