Demiral to miss Dutch quarter final after UEFA issues 2-game ban for Grey Wolves salute

July 5 – Turkey’s two-goal hero Merih Demiral at Euro 2024 has been banned for two matches by UEFA for the controversial hand salute used by Turkish nationalists and associated with the Turkish ultra-nationalist organisation Ulku Ocaklari, more widely known as the Grey Wolves.

The decision will mean he misses Turkey’s quarter final match against the Netherlands tomorrow night in Berlin.

UEFA had charged Demiral, who said the decision to make the salute was pre-planned, with:

– General principles of conduct, Art. 11(1) DR

– Violating the basic rules of decent conduct, Art. 11(2)(b) DR

– Using a sporting event for manifestations of a non-sporting nature, Art. 11(2)(c) DR

– Bringing the sport of football into disrepute, Art. 11(2)(d) DR

In their ruling for the suspension the UEFA Appeals Body said it has decided “to suspend Turkish Football Federation player Merih Demiral, for a total of two (2) UEFA representative team competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible, 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 row over the salute has already sparked political comment and following the sanction Osmin Askin Bak, Turkey’s minister of youth and sports, immediately responded on X saying: “We condemn UEFA’s unfair and biased decision, which we believe has no legal basis and is entirely political.

“We will continue to seek our rights through legal means against this double standard applied to our country and our national football player Merih Demiral.

“We believe in our football players. They will also give the necessary answer on the field.”

Before the UEFA sanction had been announced, a diplomatic spat was already in play with the German foreign ministry summoning the Turkish ambassador just a few days before the planned visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Berlin where he will attend the quarterfinal against the Netherlands on Saturday.

“As hosts of Euro 2024, we want sport to unite,” the German foreign ministry said, 24 hours after the Turkish foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador in Ankara in a tit-for-tat move.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry quickly denounced the German authorities’ approach to Demiral as “xenophobia”, defending the gesture made by Demiral as a historical and cultural symbol that is not directed against anyone in particular but expresses joy.

But German Interior Minister Nancy Pfizer said “using Euro 2024 as a platform for racism is completely unacceptable.  The symbols of Turkish right-wing extremists have no place in our stadium.”

The ill-feeling will only be escalated by the UEFA decision with all eyes now on the Turkish response on the field of play in Berlin, especially if Turkey score.

See: Diplomatic spat intensifies over Demiral’s Grey Wolf salute

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721454957labto1721454957ofdlr1721454957owedi1721454957sni@n1721454957osloh1721454957cin.l1721454957uap1721454957