Turkish football club Fenerbahçe has been sanctioned after Putin chants
The European Football Union (UEFA) on Friday fined Turkish club Fenerbahçe €50,000 over slogans some of their supporters chanted in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a match against Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv on March 27 July have called Istanbul. UEFA has also imposed a partial closure of the Turkish club’s stadium, condemning at least 5,000 seats during its next European home game.
The European body states in a press release that these measures were taken in response to “the throwing of objects and the transmission of a provocative message of an offensive nature, namely illegal songs”.
The incidents happened during a match counting towards the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League, which was won 2-1 by Dynamo Kyiv. After a goal by Ukrainian Vitaliy Buyalski (57th), several hundred Fenerbahçe supporters chanted the name of the Russian head of state, as videos on social networks show. UEFA immediately launched a disciplinary investigation into “alleged misconduct” by Turkish fans.
Fenerbahçe first 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 game. “It is very sad to hear from Fenerbahçe supporters words supporting the killer and the aggressor who is bombing our country,” he responded in Turkish on Twitter.
The pro-Putin slogans also caused an outcry on social media, where many Turkish netizens called them “shameful”. While Turkey was quick to condemn the Russian offensive in Ukraine, it opted for neutrality between the two countries and did not join Western sanctions against Moscow.