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After wolf salute: Demiral banned by Uefa for two European Championship matches

After wolf salute: Demiral banned by Uefa for two European Championship matches
After wolf salute: Demiral banned by Uefa for two European Championship matches

The so-called wolf salute proves to be the downfall of Turkish national player Demiral. He may now be missing from his team’s European Championship quarter-final against the Netherlands.

According to a media report, the Turkish Football Association (TFF) is appealing against the two-game ban imposed on national player Merih Demiral in the wake of the wolf salute celebrations before the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). A reporter from the public broadcaster TRT reported that the association will appeal to the CAS. There is an accelerated procedure there specifically for the European Football Championship, and a decision is likely to be expected as early as Friday evening.

Demiral had “not complied with the general principles of conduct, violated the basic rules of good behavior, used sporting events for rallies of a non-sporting nature and brought football into disrepute,” the European Football Union previously explained its decision on Friday.

The “Bild” newspaper had already reported on the two-game ban on Thursday evening. However, the Turkish association initially described this as false information, as the deadline for submitting the defense papers had not yet passed.

Demiral banned: What happened?

The 26-year-old Demiral formed the hand sign and symbol of the “Grey Wolves” with both hands after his second goal in Leipzig during the 2:1 win against Austria in the round of 16, causing much outrage. The “Grey Wolves” are the name given to the supporters of the right-wing extremist “Ülkücü movement”, which is monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany. In Turkey, the ultra-nationalist MHP is their political representative and an ally of President Erdogan’s Islamic-conservative AKP.

The scandal surrounding the gesture has also caused a great deal of political turmoil in recent days. The Turkish Foreign Ministry described the UEFA investigation into Demiral as unacceptable.

Not every person who displays the symbol of the Grey Wolves can be described as right-wing extremist. The wolf salute is also not banned in Germany and the reactions of the German authorities are “xenophobic”.

Ultras call on fans to do the wolf salute

In the wake of growing nationalism, however, representatives of the political center have recently also used the wolf salute to address voters from more nationalist backgrounds.

Turkish football ultras have called on fans in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to show the controversial wolf salute during their team’s quarter-final match against the Netherlands. All supporters in the stands are invited to make the gesture during the national anthem, according to a call on the X platform.

Source: Stern

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