Turkey protests testing of soccer team at Greek airport

A Turkish soccer team returned home after an issue with their COVID-19 tests in a Greek airport on Monday, creating another diplomatic row between the two countries.

Istanbul’s Galatasaray flew into Athens on Monday to play a game against the local Olympiakos Piraeus team. The Turkish soccer team said their PCR tests were not accepted by Greek authorities, who asked them to take new tests and allegedly were disrespectful to the team. Some players and coaches accepted taking new tests, but the ordeal prompted Galatasaray to fly back to Istanbul, the club said in a statement on Monday.

A Greek official said Tuesday the law required the players to take rapid tests upon arrival, which they refused, Reuters reported.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reacted angrily to the news Monday.

“Ill-intentioned and ungentlemanly treatment of Galatasaray soccer club team in Greece today is unacceptable,” he said in a tweet. “We always stand with our teams.”

The fallout continued on Tuesday when the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Greek ambassador in Ankara over the issue, according to the Turkish news outlet Daily Sabah.