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Wolf's Salute: UEFA reportedly planning to ban Turkish player Demiral

Wolf's Salute: UEFA reportedly planning to ban Turkish player Demiral

German media reported that Turkish defender Merih Demiral will have to watch two matches. This means that he will not be able to play for Turkey again except in a possible final.

Turkish defender Merih Demiral will serve a two-match ban by UEFA for a gesture he made while celebrating a goal in his team's last-16 win over Austria on Tuesday, and will miss Saturday's Euro 2024 quarter-final against the Netherlands, German media reported.

The 26-year-old defender scored twice in the 2-1 win over Austria to send his team into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2008. When he first celebrated the goal, he made a so-called “wolf salute” with his fingers.

controversial gesture

The gesture is linked to the Grey Wolves, a far-right youth wing of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Unlike Austria, the wolf salute is not banned in Germany, but it is monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. “Symbols of Turkish right-wing extremists have no place in our stadiums,” wrote Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser on the X platform. “Using the European Football Championship as a platform for racism is completely unacceptable,” she added, calling on UEFA to investigate the case and consider sanctions, which it has promised to do.

German newspaper Bild reported on Thursday that it had received information that Demiral had been suspended for two matches because of this gesture, but did not cite a source.

Turkey will play the Netherlands in the quarter-finals on Saturday at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to attend the match. (Reuters/Ahmar)

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