Turkish football club Fenerbahçe sanctioned after pro-Putin chants
The European Football Union (UEFA) imposed a fine of 50,000 euros on Friday on the Turkish club Fenerbahçe to punish the slogans chanted by some of its supporters in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a match against the Ukrainians from Dynamo kyiv on July 27 in Istanbul. UEFA has also imposed a partial closure of the Turkish club’s stadium, with the condemnation of at least 5,000 seats, during its next European home match.
The European body specifies in a press release that these measures were decided in response to “throwing of objects and the transmission of a provocative message of an offensive nature, namely illicit songs”.
The incidents took place during a game counting for the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League, won 2-1 by Dynamo Kyiv. After a goal scored by the Ukrainian Vitaliy Buyalski (57th), a few hundred Fenerbahçe supporters chanted the name of the Russian head of state, according to videos posted on social networks. UEFA immediately opened a disciplinary investigation into the “supposed bad behavior” of Turkish fans.
Fenerbahçe initially apologized in a press release, before its president announced three days later that the club would not apologize to Ukraine for these pro-Putin slogans. For his part, the Ukrainian ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, condemned these chants the day after the match. “It is very sad to hear from Fenerbahçe supporters words that support the murderer and the aggressor who is bombarding our country,” he reacted in Turkish on Twitter.
The pro-Putin slogans also caused an outcry on social media, where many Turkish netizens called them “shameful”. While swiftly condemning the Russian offensive in Ukraine, Turkey opted for neutrality between the two countries and did not join Western sanctions against Moscow.