UEFA Investigating Turkish Defender Merih Demiral Over Far-Right Salute Goal Celebration at Euro 2024

UEFA Investigating Turkish Defender Merih Demiral Over Far-Right Salute Goal Celebration at Euro 2024
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Turkey defend¬≠er Mer¬≠ih Demi¬≠ral is under inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tion by UEFA after appear¬≠ing to make an ultra-nation¬≠al¬≠ist ‚Äúwolf salute‚ÄĚ cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tion dur¬≠ing his coun¬≠try‚Äôs 2‚Äď1 vic¬≠to¬≠ry against Aus¬≠tria in their Euro 2024 quar¬≠ter-final match.

Demi­ral, who plays club foot­ball for Al-Ahli, scored both of Turkey’s goals in the win that booked their place in the semi-finals against Netherlands.

After his sec¬≠ond goal, the 26-year-old cen¬≠ter back was seen cel¬≠e¬≠brat¬≠ing with a ges¬≠ture known as the ‚Äúwolf salute,‚ÄĚ which is asso¬≠ci¬≠at¬≠ed with the far-right extrem¬≠ist Grey Wolves group in Turkey that has ties to the coun¬≠try‚Äôs rul¬≠ing party. 

Demi¬≠ral stat¬≠ed the salute was pre-planned, say¬≠ing ‚ÄúI had a goal cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tion in mind, which I did. I am very proud because I am a Turk, there¬≠fore after the goal I felt it deeply and I want¬≠ed to do it, and I am very hap¬≠py about doing it.‚ÄĚ

He lat¬≠er post¬≠ed a pho¬≠to of the cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tion on his Insta¬≠gram with the cap¬≠tion ‚ÄúHow hap¬≠py is the one who says I am a Turk!‚ÄĚ. UEFA has since opened an inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tion under Arti¬≠cle 31(4) relat¬≠ed to ‚Äúalleged inap¬≠pro¬≠pri¬≠ate behaviour.‚ÄĚ 

If found guilty, Demi­ral could face fines or a sus­pen­sion as Turkey pre­pares for their upcom­ing Euro 2024 quar­ter-final clash against Netherlands.

Eng¬≠land mid¬≠field¬≠er Jude Belling¬≠ham is also under inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tion by UEFA for a ges¬≠ture he made dur¬≠ing Eng¬≠land‚Äôs last-16 vic¬≠to¬≠ry over Slo¬≠va¬≠kia on Sun¬≠day. More details on both inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tion cas¬≠es are forth¬≠com¬≠ing from the Euro¬≠pean gov¬≠ern¬≠ing body.

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