Euro 2024: Turkey’s Demiral gets 2-game ban for celebration

Turkey defender Merih Demiral has been handed a two-game suspension by UEFA after he celebrated a goal at Euro 2024 by displaying a hand sign associated with an ultra-nationalist group in his team’s round-of-16 win over Austria on Tuesday.

UEFA confirmed on Wednesday that it had appointed an inspector to investigate Demiral, and on Friday said in a statement that he had been banned “for failing to comply with the general principles of conduct, for violating the basic rules of decent conduct, for using sports events for manifestations of a non-sporting nature and for bringing the sport of football into disrepute.”

The defender scored both goals in the 2-1 win to earn a place in the quarterfinals, thoough he will now miss his team’s game against the Netherlands on Saturday.

If Turkey win that tie, Demiral would also miss their semifinal against either England or Switzerland, who play earlier Saturday. Should the Netherlands win, the second half of the ban would be served in the next competitive game after the tournament.

After scoring the second goal he appeared to make a sign with each hand that is associated with the Turkish ultra-nationalist organisation Ulku Ocaklari, which is more widely known as the Gray Wolves.

Demiral was previously one of 16 Turkey players reprimanded in 2019 for making military-style salutes at games at a time when the country was conducting a military offensive in Syria.

The Gray Wolves group has been banned in France, while Austria has banned the use of the Gray Wolf salute, which is widely used by nationalists in Turkey.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *