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Suspending Turkish football over coronavirus would 'increase divorces', club chief argues

Agaoglu warned against suspending league matches [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 March, 2020

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Cancelling Turkey's Super League matches over coronavirus fears would lead to an increase in divorces, the head of Turkish soccer club Trabzonspor said on Tuesday.
The head of Turkish football club Trabzonspor has opposed any delay of Super League matches over the global coronavirus pandemic, arguing that it would lead to an increase in divorce.

"We are the leader right now ... Trabzonspor should be declared champion," the Turkish media reported Ahmet Agaoglu as saying Tuesday.

"If the league is suspended and played without spectators, one month later we won't find a judge in this country who can look at divorce cases," he said.

Agaoglu was seen in a video wearing a protective mask as he spoke to the media.

Trabzonspor - one of the only major non-Istanbul-based clubs - is currently at the top of Turkey's Super League.

Turkey has taken several measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, including travel restrictions on 20 countries, ordering sports event without spectators and banning mass prayers until further notice.

Read also: IS advises followers to avoid Europe, wash hands as 'God-sent plague' coronavirus sweeps continent

On Sunday, the Turkish government ramped up measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, announcing the closure of bars, nightclubs and other establishments selling alcohol.

The country, which has a population of 83 million people, has confirmed 47 cases of the coronavirus but so far has reported no deaths.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, thousands of Turkish students were abruptly kicked out of their dormitories as authorities moved to quarantine pilgrims arriving from Saudi Arabia.

Turkish citizens who had undertaken the voluntary Umrah pilgrimage were shipped from airports to university student dorms in the capital Ankara and the central provinces of Kayseri and Konya late on Saturday.

Thousands of students returned home in droves when Ankara last week announced a three-week closure of universities.

Some students who chose to stay in their university residences were given no warning ahead of the quarantine measures and were abruptly told to leave the dorms in Ankara, Kayseri and Konya at midnight, local media reported.

Five student dormitories with a capacity for more than 10,000 people were cleared out to make way for the pilgrims, the youth and sports ministry said.



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