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Uefa apparently bans Turkey star for “wolf salute”

The defender's controversial gesture apparently does have consequences. According to a report, the sanction for Merih Demiral has already been decided.

UEFA has apparently banned Turkey defender Merih Demiral for two matches. This was reported by “Sport Bild” on Thursday evening. Demiral, who scored both goals in his country's 2-1 victory against Austria in the European Championship round of 16, had shown the controversial “wolf salute” of the right-wing extremist and ultra-nationalist organization “Grey Wolves” while celebrating. UEFA subsequently launched an investigation due to “alleged inappropriate behavior”. Demiral also published a picture of his “goal celebration” on social media.

Political messages are prohibited during the European Championships, both on the field and in the stands. If the ban on the defender is confirmed, he will miss the quarter-finals on Saturday against the Netherlands and, if Turkey advances, the possible semi-finals as well. UEFA has not yet responded to the report in “Sport Bild”. In sporting terms, the decision would be a bitter blow for Turkey.

The Turkish association, however, said the news of the ban was false. They had until Friday morning to submit their defense. The Turkish Ministry of Communications also wrote on the X platform that evening that the ban was false information.

Although neither the salute nor the organization are banned in Germany, the “Grey Wolves” are under observation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) had sharply criticized Demiral's celebration. Using the European Championship “as a platform for racism” was “completely unacceptable,” the Social Democrat wrote on social media.

The scandal subsequently led to diplomatic tensions. After summoning the German ambassador in Ankara, the Foreign Office summoned the Turkish envoy for a report on Thursday.

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