UEFA Suspends Turkey's Demiral Over 'Wolf Salute'

UEFA Suspends Turkey's Demiral Over 'Wolf Salute'
Above: Merih Demiral of Turkey celebrates his second goal by making a Grey Wolf salute during the UEFA EURO 2024 round of 16 match between Austria and Turkiye at Football Stadium Leipzig on July 2. Image copyright: Jonathan Moscrop/Contributor/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

The Facts

  • The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has suspended Turkish defender Merih Demiral for two games over his "wolf salute" celebration against Austria at the European Championship (EURO).

  • Demiral has been banned for allegedly disrupting the sport, violating the basic rules of decent conduct, and using the tournament "for manifestations of a non-sporting nature."

The Spin

Narrative A

Demiral must be punished for celebrating his goal by making a gesture linked to the ultranationalist Gray Wolves, as the EURO is no place to promote fascism, racism, and violence. After all, given the importance of the game and its audience, his actions were far worse than those of Daku.

Narrative B

Those performing the "wolf salute" don't necessarily support the political ideology. It's outrageous that UEFA has decided to side with countries hostile to the Turkish people and Turkey itself, putting Demiral under investigation for a gesture that simply expresses his Turkish identity.

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