ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – European football’s governing body, also known as UEFA, said on Sunday that it would “examine” reports of Turkish footballers who performed a military salute during a Euro 2020 qualifier amid an ongoing offensive in northeastern Syria.
The incident occurred when striker Cenk Tosun scored a last-minute winner for Turkey against Albania in Istanbul on Friday.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) posted a tweet after the game, which showed the players and coaching staff in the dressing room making the military salute.
In the tweet, the TFF wrote that the athletes had “dedicated their victory to our brave soldiers and fellow martyrs.”
UEFA’s press chief Philip Townsend told the Italian Ansa news agency that he had not seen the gesture but agreed it “could be considered a provocation.”
“Does the regulation prohibit references to politics and religion? Yes, and I can guarantee you that we will look at this situation.”
Turkish warplanes and artillery began bombarding Syria’s predominantly Kurdish northeastern town of Serekaniye on Wednesday, the beginning of an offensive Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called “Operation Peace Spring” that has since spread to several other areas.
Dozens are known to have been killed or wounded, and the number of civilians displaced from border towns to areas southward has reached 190,000, according to the Syria-based Kurdish Red Crescent (KRC).
Elsewhere, at an international gymnastics tournament in Germany, Turkish athlete Ibrahim Colak made a military salute as he stood on the podium after winning gold in the men’s ring event.