UEFA opens investigation after Fenerbahce fans sing Vladimir Putin’s name in match against Dynamo Kyiv
European soccer’s governing body UEFA has opened an investigation after Fenerbahce fans were heard singing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name during a Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Kyiv.
Turkish side Fenerbahce crashed out of the competition after Ukraine’s Kyiv scored an extra-time goal to win the second leg in Istanbul 2-1 on Wednesday. The first leg, held in Poland due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, had ended 0-0.
The incident, which was heavily criticized online, appeared to be sparked by Vitaliy Buyalskyi’s celebration after he put the visitors 1-0 up in the second half.”A UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding alleged misbehavior of Fenerbahce supporters,” a UEFA statement read.
“Information on this matter will be made available in due course.”
Fenerbahce said in a statement that it didn’t accept the reaction from “some” of its supporters which “never represents the stance and values of our club.”
It also said it was “unfair” to attribute the rhetoric to all its fans.
Videos shared online appear to show a large section of fans singing Putin’s name shortly after Buyalskyi had celebrated in front of the home fans.
It came moments after Fenerbahce midfielder Ismail Yuksek was sent off in a fiery match.
Vasyl Bodnar, Ukrainian Ambassador to Ankara, said it was “sad” to hear the chants.
“Football is a fair game. Yesterday, Dynamo Kyiv was stronger,” he wrote on social media.
“It is very sad to hear the supporting words of the Fenerbahce fans — in favor of the Russian murderer and assaulter who is bombing our country.
“I am grateful to fellow Turkish people for their support to Ukraine and for their consideration about the inappropriate actions of the fans.”
CNN has reached out to Dynamo Kyiv for comment.
UEFA opens investigation into Fenerbahce after Vladimir Putin fan chants in Champions League game with Dynamo Kyiv
Fenerbahce fans were heard signing pro-Vladimir Putin chants in their game against Dynamo Kyiv; the songs came just after the Turkish side conceded to Dynamo in the second half; UEFA say a “disciplinary investigation has been opened regarding alleged misbehaviour of supporters”
UEFA will start a disciplinary investigation against Turkish club Fenerbahce over a group of its fans chanting Vladimir Putin’s name after conceding a goal at home to Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv in a Champions League qualifier.
European football’s governing said an “Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding alleged misbehaviour of Fenerbahce supporters” at the Dynamo Kyiv match, adding further information would be made available later.
Shortly after Fenerbahce’s Ismail Yuksek was sent off, Vitaliy Buyalskyi put the Ukrainian side ahead in the 57th minute. Buyalskyi’s celebration was met with chants supporting the Russian President by many Fenerbahce fans, prompting an online backlash condemning the Istanbul side’s fans and calling on European governing body UEFA to take action against the club.
The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes but Dynamo knocked out Fenerbahce from the Champions League with a 114th-minute winner by Oleksandr Karavaev.
Vasyl Bodnar, Ukrainian Ambassador to Ankara, said on Twitter he was saddened by the chants but thanked those who stood against the “inappropriate actions” of the fans. “Football is a fair game. Dynamo Kyiv was stronger yesterday,” he said.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, calling it a “special military operation” to rid Ukraine of fascists, an assertion the Ukrainian government and its Western allies said was a baseless pretext for an unprovoked war.
NATO member Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with both. It has been trying to mediate the war, and last week helped broker an accord between the warring parties to resume Kyiv’s grain exports.
Ankara has repeatedly said it will not abandon its relations with either country due to strategic and commercial reasons, but has criticised Russia’s invasion and called on Moscow to stop the conflict. It has also provided military support to Kyiv and hosted peace talks.
Bodnar added that it was “very saddening” to hear the reaction of the Fenerbahce fans at a time when civilians in Ukraine were dying in Russian attacks on the country. The Russian embassy has declined to comment.
In a statement on Thursday, Fenerbahce said the chants made by “some” fans did not represent the club, its position, or its views, adding that it stood firmly against the war in Ukraine.
Fenerbahce said the chants lasted 20 seconds and were prompted by the “exaggerated” celebrations of some Kyiv players after the goal.
“Whatever the reason may be, we as the Fenerbahce Sport Club absolutely reject the reaction coming from parts of our stands,” the club said, adding it was unfair to put blame on all its fans or the club for an act that “never represents our values.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s name was chanted by thousands of Fenerbahce fans during Wednesday’s Champions League game against Dynamo Kyiv.
The game was just Dynamo’s second competitive match of 2022 after Ukrainian soccer had been suspended following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
But the 16-time Ukrainian champions secured an impressive 2-1 win in Turkey to progress to the next qualifying round after the first leg had ended 0-0 in Poland.
Vitaliy Buyalsky scored the opening goal of the game for Kyiv before celebrating by imitating an eagle.
This sparked anger among some Fenerbahce fans as it was interpreted that Buyalsky’s celebration was a reference to the eagle on the club logo of rivals Besiktas.
Moments later, chants of “Vladimir Putin” rang around the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.
Dynamo Kyiv head coach Mircea Lucescu said after the game, as quoted by Ukrainian news outlet Expres: “We cannot accept the behavior of the fans. I did not expect such chants. It is a pity.”
On Thursday, UEFA released a statement to confirm that the chants will be the subject of an investigation.
It read: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, 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.”
Dynamo will now face Austria’s Sturm Graz in the Champions League’s third qualifying round.
Fenerbahce have dropped into the UEFA Europa League where they will meet Slovacko from the Czech Republic for a place in the play-off round.