UEFA Bans Turkey Defender Demiral For Two Games Over Political Gesture

Turkey defender Merih Demiral has been banned by UEFA for two games for making an inappropriate gesture during their win over Austria on Tuesday.

Jul 5, 2024 - 12:35
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UEFA Bans Turkey Defender Demiral For Two Games Over Political Gesture

Demiral, who scored twice in the 2-1 win, celebrated his second goal by making a 'wolf' gesture with his hands.

The gesture is linked to the “Grey Wolves”, an ultra-nationalist youth branch of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which is an ally of President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party.

“The symbols of Turkish right-wing extremists have no place in our stadiums,” Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a post on X, and Uefa subsequently opened a disciplinary case against Demiral.

Uefa said in a statement: “The Appeals Body has decided to suspend Turkish Football Federation player Merih Demiral, for a total of two (2) UEFA representative team competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible, for failing to comply with the general principles of conduct, for violating the basic rules of decent conduct, for using sports events for manifestations of a non-sporting nature and for bringing the sport of football into disrepute.”

Demiral will miss Saturday's quarterfinal tie against Netherlands and a potential semi-final should Turkey make it through.