UEFA to investigate Putin chants of Fenerbahçe fans
UEFA has launched a disciplinary investigation against Fenerbahçe, after some supporters of the Turkish club chanted Vladimir Putin’s name during a Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Kiev on July 27 evening.
The Ukrainian side defeated Fenerbahçe outfit 2-1 in Istanbul, advancing to the third qualifying round of the competition.
The “Putin incident” occurred when Vitaliy Buyalskyi put the Dynamo ahead in the 57th minute, shortly after Fenerbahçe midfielder İsmail Yüksek was sent off in a tense match.
Buyalskyi celebrated the goal by making an eagle gesture with his hands. The eagle is the symbol of Fenerbahçe’s archrival Beşiktaş.
His celebration was met with chants of “Vladimir Putin,” the Russian leader, by many Fenerbahçe fans, prompting an online backlash calling on the European governing body UEFA to take action against the club.
“The ethics and disciplinary inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding alleged misbehavior of Fenerbahçe supporters,” UEFA said in a statement on late July 28, adding that further information would be made available later.
Dynamo head coach Mircea Lucescu, who did not attend the press conference after the match to protest the event, described the chants as “a pity” while Putin’s army continues to commit atrocities across Ukraine.
Ukrainian ambassador Vasyl Bodnar said in a Facebook post that the incident had “saddened” him. “We will never understand the words of support for the Russian killer and aggressor who deliberately kills Ukrainians and destroys our country,” Bodnar wrote. “Even football, which is so loved in Türkiye, has its limits.”