Iceland’s reception of Turkey football team sparks controversy, diplomatic protest

The Turkish team was kept waiting for several hours at passport control at Reykjavik airport on Sunday and subjected to extensive security checks. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 10 June 2019

Iceland’s reception of Turkey football team sparks controversy, diplomatic protest

  • The Turkish team was kept waiting for several hours at passport control
  • Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter to show his anger

REYKJAVIK: Turkish officials Monday denounced the “disrespect” shown to the national football team when they arrived in Iceland for a Euro 2020 qualifier.
The Turkish team was kept waiting for several hours at passport control at Reykjavik airport on Sunday and subjected to extensive security checks, according to accounts from the players carried by Turkish media.
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter to show his anger, slamming the “disrespect” shown to the national team and saying the treatment of the Turkish players was “unacceptable.”
Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency, also said the treatment was “not in line with diplomatic courtesy or sportsmanlike conduct.”
The foreign ministry issued a diplomatic protest note to Iceland via the Norwegian embassy. Icelandic officials confirmed to AFP that they had received the protest but did not provide further details.
Isavia, the company who manages the airport, said the extended checks had been made for security reasons, since the airport the players originally departed from, Konya, is not party to the same security rules as airports within the EU or countries that have a related agreement.
The company said it was “under obligation to carry out a security search of all passengers coming from such airports,” regardless of nationality.
“As a rule, the security search does not take long. Last evening, however, the search took longer as a search had to be made for electronic devices and liquids in unusually many bags,” the company said in a statement.
The Icelandic Football Federation’s security team told the news website Visir that players from the Icelandic team had experienced similar checks when they returned from Turkey after a match two years ago.
The incident comes right after Turkey defeated world champions France 2-0 in Konya in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday.


Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Updated 29 October 2020

Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

  • Kingdom’s inaugural race to take place in city while purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is being completed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah.
The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude
with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
Jeddah will host the Saudi race while a new purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed, which is expected to be in 2023.
It is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s disruption. The first 10 races of the 2020 season were either postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Saudi Grand Prix is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s

The 2021 season will begin in Melbourne, Australia in mid-March and then goes on to Bahrain. It includes nearly all the races that had been due to be held this year.
That means a return for grands prix in China, Japan and Canada, which had to be cancelled because of the disruptions to international travel caused by COVID-19, as well as the debut of the Vietnamese Grand Prix.
F1 has been in conversations with the relevant national governments and all are said to be in agreement the races can take place, unless the pandemic worsens.
In 2018, Riyadh hosted the first Formula E championship in the Middle East in Diriyah with 23,000 in attendance. The second Formula E championship was held in late 2019.
This year, Saudi Arabia held its first Dakar Rally, a 7,800km race that began in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiyah.