Soccer player of the Moscow “Locomotive” Dmitry Tarasov teased fans of the Turkish “Fenerbahche” with image of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After the game in the the Europa League, which the Russians lost with the score 0:2 in Istanbul, the Russian squad midfielder took off a club T-shirt, under which there turned out to be a T-shirt with a photo of Vladimir Putin, and the inscription “Polite president.”
The game took place against the backdrop of the protracted deterioration of relations between Russia and Turkey, after Turkish forces shot down a Russian military aircraft on the Syrian border in November 2015.
Later, Dmitry Tarasov explained his action.
“This is my president. I respect him, and decided to show that I’m always with him and ready to support him,” the footballer said in comments to Russian agency R-Sport.
“This shirt says all that I wanted to say,” said Russian athlete.
Before the game, the Turkish fans threw bottles at the “Locomotive” bus parked in front of the stadium. Turkish police said they arrested three fans for the incident.
Based on reports, there could be sanctions introduced against Dmitri Tarasov and “Locomotive” on the part of European football for the player’s actions.
UEFA rules prohibit any political statements during matches.