European football’s ruling body has said that they will “examine” reports that Turkish footballers performed a military salute in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Albania to mark their country’s widely-condemned armed offensive against Kurds in Syria.
“Personally, I have not seen this gesture, which could be considered a provocation,” UEFA’s press chief Philip Townsend told the Italian Ansa news agency on Saturday.
“Does the regulation prohibit references to politics and religion? Yes, and I can guarantee you that we will look at this situation.”
The salute was made after Cenk Tosun’s winning goal for Turkey in the game in Istanbul on Friday.
After the match, a photo was also posted on the official Twitter account of the national team.
In it, the player s are seen making a military salute with the tweet indicating the players “have dedicated their victory to our brave soldiers and fellow martyrs“.
In Turkey, it is common for celebrities, including footballers, to show their support for the security forces after attacks or during military operations.
The Turkish offensive began on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump ordered American troops to pull back from the border area of north-east Syria.
Meanwhile, at the world gymnastics championships in Stuttgart, Turkey’s Ibrahim Colak made a military-style salute on the podium after winning gold in the men’s rings event.
It was not known if the gesture was linked to the military campaign.
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