No: 128, 3 July 2024, Regarding the Disciplinary Investigation Against Turkish National Footballer Merih Demiral

It is unacceptable that UEFA has opened a disciplinary investigation against Turkish national footballer Merih Demiral after the EURO 2024 round of 16 match between the national football teams of Türkiye and Austria yesterday (2 July).

Moreover, the report published by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in September 2023 emphasized that the “grey wolf” sign can not necessarily be associated with right-wing extremism. The "grey wolf" sign is also not a banned symbol in Germany. Under these circumstances, the reactions shown by the German authorities to Mr. Demiral can themselves be considered xenophobic.

We condemn the politically motivated reactions to the use of a historical and cultural symbol as part of a goal celebration in a way that does not target anyone.