UEFA fines Fenerbahçe over pro-Putin chants during Dynamo Kyiv game

UEFA on Friday handed down Turkish football club Fenerbahçe a 50,000 euro ($50,936) fine and a partial stadium closure penalty over fans’ pro-Putin chants during a game against Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv last month, Haber Türk network reported.

The penalties follow a disciplinary investigation by the top governing body of European football  against the Istanbul team over the "alleged misbehaviour of Fenerbahçe supporters," during a Champions League qualifier against the Ukrainian team. Fenerbahçe fans were heard singing the Russian leader's name to the Ukrainian side during the match that took place in Istanbul on July 27.

The Appeals Body of UEFA has handed down a partial closure of the club’s Ülker Stadium in Istanbul by at least 5,000 seats for its next UEFA club match over objects thrown and offensive chanting on July 27, according to Haber Türk.

The club was also slapped with a probationary two-year period during which the partial stadium closure penalty will be reinstated should the offensive chants reoccur, it said.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar reacted to the chanting in a Twitter post, saying it was very saddening to hear Fenerbahçe fans chanting the name of  “a Russian murderer and aggressor who bombed our country.”

Turkey, a maritime neighbour to Russia and Ukraine, maintains good ties with both countries and has stepped up as mediator since the beginning of the war in February.

Last week, Fenerbahçe condemned the fans’ behaviour, saying 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." 

But club chairman Ali Koç later said that the club would not issue an apology over the incident, dismissing it as a short-lived transgression by fans who “do not represent the values of Fenerbahçe,” Diken news site said.

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