Ilham Aliyev wished the Turkish national team victory over the Netherlands

Ilham Aliyev wished the Turkish national team victory over the Netherlands

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev congratulated the Turkish national team on its successful performance at the European Football Championship, reaching the 1/4 finals and thus becoming one of the 8 strongest teams on the continent. “I especially congratulate Merich Demiral, who scored 2 goals in the 1/8 finals (against the Austrian national team) and was recognized as the best player of the match. The punishment meted out to Merich is unfair, and I strongly condemn it. I wish the Turkish national team victory in the match against the Netherlands! Long live the Turkic world!", Aliyev wrote on his official account on the social network "X".

UEFA disqualified Damiral for a gesture after scoring a goal, which was regarded as a "greeting to the far-right Turkish group Gray Wolves." The Turkish authorities condemned the punishment of the football player. The "gray Wolf" was considered totems by the ancient Turks and it is definitely wrong to associate a football player's gesture with political content, critics of the UEFA decision say.

The footballer himself later explained the gesture of the "Gray Wolves" shown by him with glee at the victory and pride for his country. In Türkiye, the interests of the "Grey Wolves" are represented by the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). In Germany, where the European Championship is taking place, neither this group itself nor its gesture is prohibited.

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