The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) on Tuesday announced that teams will continue playing their remaining games without spectators amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite vocal criticism from coaches and players.
Nihat Özdemir, chairman of the TFF, reported that the decision was made after consultation with Turkey’s health minister.
Last weekend, after a derby with Beşiktaş, Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim protested the TFF for not suspending the league.
“You can declare any team as champions, but we should not play the games,” Terim angrily told reporters after the game.
Terim on Monday reportedly told his players to rest at home, believing that the federation would delay the matches.
John Obi Mikel, a world-famous Nigerian footballer playing for Turkey’s Trabzonspor, said on social media that the matches must be suspended immediately due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Radamel Falcao, a Colombian striker for Galatasaray, seconded Mikel’s social media post.
Later today, Trabzonspor announced that Mikel’s contract was ended after a mutual agreement.