'Ban Fenerbahce' trends after fans taunt Dynamo Kyiv with 'Vladimir Putin' chants; UEFA investigates
Supporters of Turkish football club Fenerbahce goaded Ukrainian team Dynamo Kyiv with chants of 'Vladimir Putin' after conceding a goal in a Champions League qualifying match.
Following accusations that Fenerbahce supporters were shouting chants in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin during Wednesday night's Champions League qualifier loss to Dynamo Kyiv, UEFA launched an investigation into the behaviour of the Turkish club's supporters.
According to the regulatory body, an ethical and disciplinary inspector has been assigned to look into "alleged misbehaviour of Fenerbahçe supporters" during the second qualifying round match between the Ukrainian club's first and second legs, which the latter team won 2-1 after extra time. The first leg, which was played in Poland, was scoreless.
The chants started after Dynamo player Vitaliy Buyalskyi made an eagle gesture with his hands to celebrate giving his team the lead. Besiktas, a fierce rival of Fenerbahce, is represented by an eagle.
In a statement condemning the behaviour, Fenerbahce referred to "the exaggerated movements of some of the opposing team's players." It added that it "does not accept the reaction that arises from some of our stands" and their "stance [is] that sports and politics should always be kept separate from each other".
Dynamo head coach Mircea Lucescu, who formerly managed Turkey's national side, said that UEFA could not accept the behaviour of the [Fenerbahce] fans and described the chants as "a pity" while Putin's army continued to commit atrocities across Ukraine.
Some supporters have demanded the exclusion of Fenerbahce from European competition. If found in violation, the club will probably be punished or might even be required to play a home game in secret.
Vasyl Bodnar, the ambassador for Ukraine, wrote on Facebook 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 Turkey, has its limits," Bodnar said.
The third qualifying round will pit Dynamo against Sturm Graz of Austria, with the first leg taking place in Lodz, Poland, on Wednesday.
The local Ukrainian league is also slated to resume play in late August, with games taking place in locations west of Kyiv and being played behind closed doors for security concerns.
Andriy Pavelko, president of the Ukrainian FA, said the resumption "is about demonstrating the fearlessness of our people, the indomitable spirit and desire for inevitable victory."
Meanwhile, the video that has now garnered over 7 million views on Twitter has sparked a massive outrage, with several users calling the behaviour of Fenerbahce fans as 'disgusting' and demanding UEFA to ban the Turkish club from all European competitions. Here's a look at some of the reactions: