French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu called on the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to punish the Turkish national team after a military greeting-style celebration of a goal during a European Championship 2020 qualifier against the French teamMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 15th October, 2019) French sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu called on the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to punish the Turkish national team after a military greeting-style celebration of a goal during a European Championship 2020 qualifier against the French team.
The match, held at the Stade de France on Monday, ended with a 1-1 draw. French striker Olivier Giroud scored the opener in the 76th minute, but Turkey's center back Kaan Ayhan leveled the match in the 82nd. Players of the Turkish national team celebrated Ayhan's goal with a military greeting, obviously paying a tribute to their country's ongoing military operation in northern Syria.
"I thank the French Football Federation (FFF) and the police for their work to ensure security during the game. Turkish football players spoiled these efforts by demonstrating a military greeting, which is contrary to the sporting spirit. I urge UEFA to apply exemplary sanctions," Maracineanu said on Twitter.
Political statements during the competitions are prohibited by UEFA.
Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora addressed the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) with a request to consider stripping Istanbul of the right to host the scheduled UEFA Champions League 2019/2020 final in connection with the military operation of Turkey in northern Syria.
The minister recalled that the EU Foreign Affairs Council had condemned on Monday Turkey's military operation, which seriously undermines the stability and security of the entire region.
"Respecting the autonomy of the body that you are in charge of, I express hope that European football in its highest manifestation will be able to make a courageous choice and once again demonstrate that sport is an instrument of peace," Spadafora concluded.
Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria on October 9 in a bid to create a "safe zone" along the border that would be free of Kurdish militias. Turkish troops have already claimed control over the cities of Ras al-Ain and Tell Abiad.