UEFA opens investigation into Demiral after controversial celebration

UEFA opens investigation into Demiral after controversial celebration
UEFA opens investigation into Demiral after controversial celebration

The Turkish defender, who scored a winning double for Turkey against Austria on Tuesday, has been the target of an investigation concerning his celebration, which is linked to a far-right movement.

UEFA announced on Wednesday that it was opening an investigation into the “potential inappropriate behavior” Turkish defender Merih Demiral during the Euro 2024 round of 16 on Tuesday against Austria (2-1), during which he scored twice. Demiral himself posted on his X account a photo of himself raising his arms to celebrate one of his goals, and making the sign of the «Grey Wolves»a Turkish far-right group. The image is widely shared on social networks.

And “ethics and discipline investigator” has been appointed, and further information on the matter will follow, UEFA said in its statement. The “Grey Wolves” movement (Ülkücü in Turkish) claims in particular a pan-Turkist ideology, which seeks to bring together all Turkic-speaking peoples within a single state.

“The symbol of Turkish right-wing extremists has no place in our stadiums”reacted on X Nancy Faeser, the German Minister of the Interior. “Using the Euro football championship as a platform for racism is totally unacceptable. We expect UEFA to investigate the case and consider sanctions.”she added.

Movement dissolved by Darmanin in 2020

Merih Demiral accompanied the posted image with the motto of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: “Blessed is he who says: I am Turkish”. And the person concerned told the press after the match that he wanted to discuss “the pride of being Turkish”. “I’m very happy to have done this celebration. All our supporters are proud of us. I had seen some of them do it, and so I wanted to do it even more.”he added.

Turkish Sports Minister Osman Askin Bak shared the controversial photo on X, writing: “All is said”a comment accompanied by the Turkish flag. In France, the movement was dissolved in 2020 by Gérald Darmanin. At the time, the Minister of the Interior described it as ” a particularly aggressive grouping, to say the least »

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