A UEFA official said the European body would "examine" the celebration of the players of the Turkish selection, who celebrated with a military salute their goal against Albania (1-0), Friday, while the army of their country launched an offensive against Kurdish positions in northern Syria. "Personally, I have not seen this gesture, which could be considered a provocation," said Philip Townsend, UEFA press chief, interviewed by the Italian Ansa agency.
"Does the regulation prohibit references to politics and religion?" Yes, and I can guarantee you that we will look at this situation, let me check, "he added.
Cengiz Under has also been controversial
This salute was made after Cenk Tosun's winning goal in the Euro 2020 qualifier. After the match, a photo was also posted on the official Twitter account of the national team. The players make a military salute and the tweet indicates that the players "have dedicated their victory to our brave soldiers as well as our soldiers and fellow martyrs". In Turkey, it is common for celebrities, including footballers, to show their support for the security forces after attacks or during military operations.
In Italy, the Turkish international AS Roma Cengiz Under, currently wounded, has also made controversy with a photo showing him making the same military salute, surmounted by three Turkish flags. The initiative has been widely criticized on social networks, especially because the player is wearing the picture of the shirt Roma and not that of his selection. Turkey on Wednesday launched an offensive in northern Syria against a Kurdish militia, two days after the United States withdrew troops deployed in parts of northern Syria just on the border with Turkey.