ATLÉTICO DE MADRID
Simeone having second thoughts about Galatasaray friendly
The coach is worried that his team's safety for next month's friendly against Galatasaray in Istanbul could be jeopardized in the wake of the attempted military coup in Turkey.
Atlético's planned friendly meeting with Galatasaray at the Türk Telekom Arena on 6 August is up in the air. The recent failed coup by a section of the Turkish military, which attempted to topple the country's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan left 265 dead and over 1,400 injured, and could force the Rojiblancos to modify their pre-season schedule. The friendly is Atlético's penultimate run-out of the summer - after the squad returns from Australia, where they have games lined up against Tottenham and Melbourne Victory. In Madrid, club officials are waiting to hear the outcome of a report from Spain's Foreign Office regarding the situation - standard practice whenever the team travels to a country outside of the European Union.
In this case, apart from detailling the possible risks involved, the Spanish Foreign Office's report on the current situation in Turkey must also define whether Atlético's friendly will take place at the proposed venue, the Türk Telekom Arena. Atlético already have made reservations at Istanbul's 5-star Le Méridien hotel, in the north part of the city and just over six kilometres from the Türk Telekom Arena.
One person who is having second thoughts about the trip to Turkey is Atleti coach Diego Pablo Simeone who is worried about the safety of his team. However, if the situation in Istanbul is able to return to normal over the next couple of weeks then it seems unlikely that either club will decide to cancel the 6 August friendly.