Amid heavy snow and hail pouring down upon Turk Telekom Arena, Galatasaray and Juventus have decided to suspend their Champions League match on Tuesday, with the stoppage coming just 32 minutes into the action.
Team Talk's Twitter page first reported the postponement, with the score tied at 0-0:
MATCH ABANDONED! Galatasaray v Juventus called off due to heavy snow. Istanbul looks like one of those Christmas snowglobes! Score was 0-0— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) December 10, 2013
Snow was coming down throughout the match, and the two high-profile sides scuffled through a sloppy half-hour. Players had trouble keeping their footing, both attacks stagnated and it became clear that both sides were risking their health if they continued.
The tipping point came when Galatasaray's Emmanuel Eboue went down in the 31st minute. The match was delayed as Eboue lay on the snow-coated field, and the two sides agreed on a delay, hoping the inclement weather would pass. After an extended period, it became clear that the conditions were too untenable.
UEFA and the clubs then met to discuss when to resume the match, with Ian Paul Joy of BeIn Sport noting they have decided to resume on Wednesday:
I'm hearing that Galatasaray vs Juventus has been abandoned & will resume tomorrow night!— IAN PAUL JOY (@JOYPAULIAN) December 10, 2013
Champions League initially confirmed that announcement, but there is still confusion on the situation. CNN's Tancredi Palmeri notes that the decision won't be made until a meeting later in the evening, with Footballitalia citing the Turkish police concerns as the overarching reason:
Reports Turkish police want a later KO than 14.00 local (12.00 GMT), so it could change #GalatasarayJuventus— footballitalia (@footballitalia) December 10, 2013
Typically matches that last until the 30-minute mark require a week break, and Turk Telekom Arena was covered in so much snow that the governing body will put player safety first and foremost. It's also unclear whether Galatasaray and Juventus would decide to resume the match from its stoppage point or start anew.
Either way, the implications on the Champions League outlook is enormous. With Real Madrid having already captured Group B and a spot in the knockout round, the result of this match will leave one side eliminated. Galatasaray have only four points compared to Juventus' six, meaning the home side would have to win to move on.
It could be an uphill battle for Galatasaray. They have struggled mightily on the defense, giving up a group-high 14 goals over their first five matches. Their only win in Group B came against FC Copenhagen, and the Turkish side tied with Juventus in their first matchup.
Juventus also have just one win but have built a cushion thanks to their three draws. Real Madrid, with 13 points, have more than doubled any other Group B member.
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