Soccer match in Istanbul postponed due to security threat | News | DW | 20.03.2016
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Soccer match in Istanbul postponed due to security threat

Turkish authorities have postponed a soccer match between two major Istanbul teams, citing an unspecified threat. The decision comes a day after a suicide bomber in the city killed five people.

The Istanbul governor's office confirmed that the Super Lig football derby between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce was being canceled following "the assessment of serious intelligence." Officials gave no further details on the nature of the threat.

The decision came a day after a suicide bomber linked to the self-styled "Islamic State" group (IS) killed himself and four foreign tourists on Istanbul's main pedestrian shopping street, Istiklal Caddesi.

The match was originally scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. local time (18:00 UTC/GMT). The decision to call off the game between Galatasaray, who currently are fifth in the Turkish Super Lig, and second-placed title challengers Fenerbahce came despite authorities calling for the 15 million inhabitants of Turkey's largest city to carry on with their daily lives as normal.

Earlier reports had indicated that the derby would still be going ahead but without spectators, according to a last-minute decision taken by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

The attack was the latest in a series of terrorist bombings that have hit the country in recent months, including a suicide car bombing in a busy square in the capital Ankara earlier in March, which killed 35 people.

ss/jm (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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