UEFA investigates hero of Turkey’s Euro qualifier against Austria

UEFA investigates hero of Turkey’s Euro qualifier against Austria

The European body is investigating the “alleged inappropriate behaviour” of defender Merih Demiral for sending a signal linked to a far-right group in Turkey.

UEFA announced on Wednesday that has opened an investigation into “alleged inappropriate behaviour” against Turkish defender Merih Demiral who became his country’s hero by giving Turkey qualification for the Euro Cup against Austria. While celebrating his goal, he made a hand gesture associated with a far-right group. .

The defender who scored both goals in the 2-1 round of 16 win posted a photo on his X account (formerly Twitter) celebrating one of the scores with his arms raised and making the “Grey Wolves” symbol.

In any case, after the duel, he maintained that this gesture had no hidden message.”The way I celebrated it has something to do with my Turkish identity (…) I am very proud to be Turkish and that is the meaning of my gesture “, commented the footballer who ended up being chosen as the face of the match.

Despite this, UEFA announced in a statement that it had appointed a “researcher on issues of ethics and discipline ” to assess the matter, since the gesture was viral and criticized on social networks.

The symbol of Turkish right-wing extremists has no place in our stadiums ” reacted German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser in X.

Using the European Football Championship as a platform for racism is totally unacceptable. We hope that UEFA will investigate the matter and consider sanctions. “he added.

“It is the symbol of oppression and persecution,” denounced the leader of the NGO Association for Threatened Peoples in the Middle East, Kamal Sido.

For his part, Turkish Sports Minister Osman Askin Bak reproduced the player’s photo with the message “No need to say much…” and the Turkish flag.

It should be noted that the so-called “Grey Wolves” are a paramilitary branch of the Nationalist Action Party, a far-right formation in Turkey, and are banned in countries such as France and Austria, but not in Germany, due to their violent actions in the 1980s against left-wing activists and ethnic minorities.

The repercussions reached such a point that the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement declaring the investigation “unacceptable.”

It is unacceptable that UEFA has opened a disciplinary investigation against our national footballer Merih Demiral after the football match played yesterday (July 2) between our national football team and the Austrian national football team as part of the 2024 European Football Championship,” the publication begins.

“On the other hand, while the report published by the German Federal Organisation for the Protection of the Constitution in September 2023 highlighted that Not all people who make the grey wolf sign can be classified as far-right, and since the “grey wolf” sign is not a banned symbol in Germany, the reactions of the German authorities to Mr Demiral are in themselves xenophobic. “, they accused.

“We condemn the politically motivated reactions to the use of a historical and cultural symbol in a way that targets no one during the celebration of joy at a sporting event,” they concluded.

Follow at El Deportivo

Source: Latercera

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