12.07.2021 22:40 h

Galatasaray fly home after Greece denies entry over Covid tests

Turkish side Galatasary had a wasted trip to Greece for a friendly on Monday when they were denied entry by Athens airport authorities because of unacceptable coronavirus tests.

The visitors, who were due to play against Greek champions Olympiakos on Tuesday, were refused entry despite providing negative PCR test results from within 72 hours.

Greek authorities said that the entry protocol from Turkey to Greece requires a molecular test from the previous 24 hours -- not 72 hours.

Galatasaray allegedly refused to undergo a further Covid-19 test and, after two hours at the airport, flew back to Istanbul, airport authorities said.

In a post on the Galatasaray website, the club complained of "clear discrimination" against them and accused airport authorities of treating them in "an extremely inappropriate and arrogant manner".

"Health rules apply to everyone," a top source from Greece's General Secretariat for Civil Protection told AFP.

Deputy minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias claimed that despite efforts by Greek authorities to speed up the process for the Galatasaray team to be allowed to enter the country, "they refused to undergo a rapid test in accordance with the provisions of the current Greek legislation".