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Euro 2024: Turkey’s Two-Goal Hero Vs Austria Demiral Investigated By UEFA

Euro 2024: Turkey’s Two-Goal Hero Vs Austria Demiral Investigated By UEFA

Turkey’s two-goal hero against Austria, Merih Demiral, could find himself in trouble with UEFA due to his celebration in his side’s Euros round of 16 2-1 win over Austria.

Demiral bagged a brace on Tuesday night but has been accused of making a gesture associated with a far-right extremist group in Turkey.

He opened the scoring after 58 seconds – the quickest knockout goal ever at the Euros – before netting second around the hour mark.

But he celebrated his second goal with the “wolf salute,” a gesture associated with the Grey Wolves, a far-right extremist group which is linked to Turkey’s ruling coalition party the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

In Germany, Constitutional Protection Agency regards supporters of the Grey Wolves as extremists.

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Also, the gesture is banned in France and Austria. The latter introduced the ban in 2019 after the Austrian parliament passed a law preventing symbols of “extremist organisations” to prevent terror propaganda.

“Match: 2024 UEFA EURO Round of 16 match between Austria and Türkiye played on 2 July 2024 in Leipzig, Germany,” a UEFA statement read:

‌”In relation to the 2024 UEFA European Championship Round of 16 match between Austria and Türkiye played on 2 July 2024 in Leipzig, Germany, an investigation has been opened in accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations in relation to the alleged inappropriate behaviour of the Turkish Football Federation player, Merih Demiral.”

After the match Demiral explained why he performed the celebration.

“I had a specific celebration in mind, something connected to my Turkish identity. I am incredibly proud to be Turkish, and I felt that pride deeply after scoring.

“I wanted to express that, and I’m very happy I did. Our fans are proud of us. I saw them doing the gesture in the stands, and it made me want to do it even more. I am very happy.”

UEFA’s Safety and Security regulations state: “The promotion or announcement, by any means, of political messages or of any other political actions inside or in the immediate vicinity of the stadium is strictly prohibited before, during and after the match.”


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