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UEFA bans Turkey’s RO16 hero Merih Demiral following controversial celebration ahead of Euro quarterfinals

UEFA bans Turkey’s RO16 hero Merih Demiral following controversial celebration ahead of Euro quarterfinals

Although the symbol is not banned in Germany, The Guardian reports ongoing discussions about a potential ban similar to Austria's

Merih Demiral became Turkey’s hero after scoring a brace against Austria in the UEFA Euro 2024 Round of 16. However, in an unfortunate turn of events has received a two-game ban for his celebration against Austria during Euro 2024, causing him to miss Turkey’s upcoming quarterfinal match against the Netherlands.

Why was Merih Demiral banned from the Euro 2024 Quarterfinals?

According to Bild, UEFA has banned Demiral for two matches following his ‘wolf’ celebration after scoring both goals in Turkey’s thrilling 2-1 victory over Austria in the Round of 16. This gesture is linked to ‘The Grey Wolves,’ a Turkish right-wing extremist group classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and banned in Austria.

After the game, Demiral defended his actions, claiming his celebration was “connected to his Turkish identity.” Nevertheless, UEFA swiftly initiated an investigation, leading to his punishment. Demiral’s absence from the match against the Netherlands and potentially the semi-final, should Turkey advance, is a significant loss for the team, especially given his outstanding performance against Austria. If Turkey progresses to the final, Demiral will be sidelined until then.

Big blow for Turkey ahead of Euro Cup quarterfinals

Turkey faces the Netherlands on Saturday, knowing their potential semi-final opponents, either England or Switzerland, as that match occurs earlier. Demiral will be unable to participate unless Turkey reaches an unlikely final, forcing him to watch from the sidelines in the meantime.

Turkey has also suffered a double blow, with both Orkun Kokcu and Ismail Yuksek likely to miss their quarterfinal match against the Netherlands. Kokcu, Feyenoord’s explosive midfielder, has been crucial to Turkey’s campaign, and his absence due to injury creates a big vacancy in their midfield. Yuksek, another crucial player, will also miss out, reducing Turkey’s prospects against a powerful Dutch team.

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