Association football

Pope calls Fenerbahçe captain for charity match

Pope Francis has reportedly invited Fenerbahçe captain Emre Belözoğlu for a charity match in Rome on Sept. 1, Turkish media reported Aug. 15.

Pope Francis personally spoke with Belözoğlu over the phone and the 33-year-old midfielder immediately accepted the offer, according to daily Habertürk.

Barcelona's Afellay joins Olympiakos on one-year loan deal

Barcelona have agreed to loan Dutch attacking midfielder Ibrahim Afellay to Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus for the 2014-15 season, the La Liga club said on Sunday.

Afellay, 28, joined Barca from PSV Eindhoven in December 2010 but injury wrecked his chances of establishing himself in the first team and he has only made 35 appearances overall.

Asteras Tripolis knocks out German side Mainz to make Europa League playoffs

Asteras Tripolis sprung a surprise in the Europa League on Thursday, beating German side Mainz 3-1 to advance from the third qualifying round.

The side from the Peloponnese had lost the away leg 1-0 but managed to turn the score around at the Theodoros Kolokotronis stadium.

Diego, Armando and Maradona circumcized

Three Turkish little brothers, who carry their father’s admiration for the all-time football star Diego Armando Maradona in their first names, were circumcised in the northwestern province of Balıkesir Aug. 6.

Father Tekin Şentürk and mother Sevcan Şentürk told Anatolia Agency they were happy to hold the circumcision ceremony at their house.

Demba Ba hat-trick fires Beşiktaş past Feyenoord

A Demba Ba hat-trick sent Beşiktaş into the Champions League playoff round at the expense of former winners Feyenoord on Aug. 6.

The Black Eagles, who finished third in the Turkish Super League last season,
only qualified in a knock-on effect because champions Fenerbahçe are
serving the second of a two-year ban over domestic match-fixing in 2011.

Panathinaikos out of Champions League after Standard Liege loss at home

Panathinaikos was knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday after being beaten 2-1 at home by Belgian side Standard Liege.

The first leg in Belgium had ended 0-0 and Panathinaikos got off to a great start in Athens when Dino Arslanagic scored an own goal in the 10th minute.