Champions League: PSG on the move under tension in Turkey

PSG paying tribute to Samuel Paty during the reception in Dijon, October 24, 2020. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

Defeated by Manchester United (2-1) on the first day of the Champions League, Paris SG travels to Istanbul to revive against Basaksehir on Wednesday October 28 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Paris time).

All in a context marked by diplomatic tensions between Turkey and France.


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Compulsory victory in hostile terrain: after its inaugural failure, Paris SG must bounce back in the Champions League at Basaksehir Istanbul, at the Fatih-Terim stadium behind closed doors because of the health crisis.

But the disputed meeting between the Parisians and a famous club close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes in a tense atmosphere.

The Turkish president on Monday called for a boycott of French products, accusing his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron of being hostile to Islam, after the latter defended the freedom to caricature the Prophet Muhammad during a national tribute to Samuel Paty, a teacher beheaded in an Islamist attack on October 16 for showing such representations in class.

A new episode in the current escalation of tensions between Turkey and France, whose relations had already deteriorated due to disagreements related to Syria, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, while the French ambassador in Ankara has was called back last Saturday for consultations.


The Basaksehir should boycott the goals of PSG ...


When Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of all French brands, many football fans in Turkey immediately thought of the match between Basaksehir and Paris Saint-Germain, reports RFI Istanbul correspondent

Anne Andlauer


And some have gone to write it on social networks, in messages where the line between joke and serious talk is not always very clear.

I boycott France by betting on the Basaksehir


announces on Twitter a fan of sports betting.


The boycott of French products should start with the Basaksehir.

Let him give up the match against PSG, so that the whole world can see that we are serious,

 ”suggests another Turkish internet user.

The Basaksehir should boycott the goals of PSG,

 " mocked another, who apparently does not support the Istanbul club.

Well aware of the tense climate between the two countries, the leaders of Basaksehir wished to reassure the Parisians before the meeting.


PSG and Mr. Nasser are friends,

 " said club leader Göksel Gümüsdag, referring to Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.

Paris, a victory or nothing

On the ground, sportingly, the gap is yawning between Basaksehir, absolute neophyte in the Champions League, and Paris SG, finalist of the last edition.

What to put pressure on the Parisian coach Thomas Tuchel and his players, for whom failure in Istanbul is prohibited.

The Parisians remain in fact on a missed introduction last Tuesday at home against Manchester United (2-1 defeat), far from the face they had shown in August to reach the final of the C1, defeated only by the untouchable Bayern Munich (1-0).

Any other result than a success would leave the opportunity to increase their lead to Group H competitors, Manchester United and Leipzig, who face each other on Wednesday (9 p.m.) in England.

 See also


Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls into question "the mental health" of Emmanuel Macron

For Basaksehir, Turkish champions who missed their debut in the big European Cup with a 2-0 defeat in Leipzig, taking at least one point against PSG is a matter of honor.

This team from a recent peripheral district of Istanbul has experienced a meteoric rise in a few years, helped by the financial contribution of its owners, companies close to power.

It counts among its ranks some former French Championship such as Enzo Crivelli, passed through Bordeaux, Bastia, Angers and Caen, or the ex-Lyonnais Rafael.


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  • UEFA Champions League

  • France

  • Turkey

  • Diplomacy