(dpa) - The Macedonian national football team failed to reach the Armenian capital Yerevan Thursday when Turkish air traffic control banned the team's Macedonian plane from flying over Turkish territory, local media reported.
The Macedonian footballers, who are scheduled to play a Group One World Cup qualifier against Armenia on Saturday, were forced back to Skopje without clear explanation for the decision.
The Ankara-based Turkish air traffic control ordered the Macedonian national carrier MAT plane to return to Skopje roughly 90 minutes after it entered Turkish air space, the report said.
Skopje media attributed the incident to uneasy political relations between Turkey and Armenia. An official explanation from Ankara is expected to be delivered to Macedonian footballing officials Saturday.
(Photolur photo: The Armenian team training for Saturday's game.)