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28 Jul, 2022 16:30

UEFA investigates Turkish club after ‘Putin’ fan chants

Fenerbahce fans sang the Russian president's name in a match against Dynamo Kiev
UEFA investigates Turkish club after ‘Putin’ fan chants

UEFA has launched a disciplinary investigation after fans of Turkish football giants Fenerbahce chanted the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin during their team's Champions League qualifying defeat to Dynamo Kiev in Istanbul on Wednesday. 

"A UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding alleged misbehavior of Fenerbahce supporters during the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, second leg match between Fenerbahce SK and FC Dynamo Kyiv played on 27 July 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey," read a statement from the European football governing body. 

UEFA added that information on the matter "will be made available in due course" and didn't specifically mention the chants.

While their potential punishment is unknown, an extreme outcome would be that Fenerbahce's next opponents Slovacko are given a bye to the Europa League in their upcoming third-round qualifying tie for the competition on August 4, or that the Turks are forced to play the first leg at home against the Czech outfit behind closed doors. 

The chants rang out among the 45,000-strong crowd at the Ulker Stadium after Dynamo midfielder Vitaly Buyalsky put the Ukrainian team ahead in the 57th minute.

Buyalsky celebrated his strike ferociously and is said to have made a "provocative gesture" towards fans of the hosts known for their fervent support.

In response, large swathes of the crowd chanted President Putin's name in union, with the footage widely shared on social media.

Fenerbahce fans were already wound up after a member of their team was sent off shortly before Buyalsky's opener.

In the 70th minute, Enner Valencia missed a chance to level the proceedings from the penalty spot before an equalizer came with just two minutes to spare. 

Attila Szalai forced extra time with the score at 1-1, but Dynamo prevailed over their 10-men foes with an Alexander Karavayev winner in the 114th minute that made it 2-1.

Figures such as Fenerbahce's Romanian manager Mircea Lucescu – who also has a history of working in Russia – condemned the chants to Turkish broadcasters according to Fanatik, which come amid Russia's ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

Russian teams are currently banned from competing in international competitions after UEFA and FIFA followed an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation earlier this year.

St. Petersburg was also stripped of last season's UEFA Champions League final, which was moved to Paris.