Turkey's Merih Demiral handed two-match ban by UEFA

Turkey’s Merih Demiral handed two-match ban by UEFA

He will miss their last-8 clash with the Netherlands tomorrow…

UEFA have suspended Turkish defender Merih Demiral for two games for making a controversial hand gesture during their last-16 win over Austria at UEFA Euro 2024. He will now be sidelined from their quarter-final clash with the Netherlands on Saturday and should the Crescent-Stars progress to the last-four, Demiral will miss that game too.

He was the unlikely hero of their 2-1 victory over Austria, with the former Juventus defender netting both their goals. After scoring his second goal, the 26-year-old appeared to make a hand gesture which is associated with Turkey’s ultranationalist group Ulku Ocaklari, also known as the Grey Wolves.

Turkey’s Merih Demiral handed two-match ban by UEFA

On Wednesday, UEFA announced that it had appointed an inspector to investigate the case, and concluded on Friday that Demiral failed to comply “with the general principles of conduct, for violating the basic rules of decent conduct, for using sports events for manifestations of a non-sporting nature and for bringing the sport of football into disrepute.”

However, the Turkish Football Federation has appealed to CAS.

This isn’t the first time that Demiral has landed himself in hot water for a controversial sign. Back in 2019, he was one of 16 other players who were reprimanded for making military-style salute when Turkey was conducting a military offensive in Syria.

Turkey looking to emulate Euro 2008 heroics

Turkey are looking to reach the semi-finals of the European championship for the first time since 2008. Back then, the Crescent-Stars made history by reaching the last-four for the first time, before falling to eventual runners-up Germany. It was only their second appearance at this stage of a competition in their history, having previous came third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Can they repeat their old feats by reaching the last-four again?

Also Read: Netherlands vs Turkey: Preview, Prediction, Lineups and Team News | Euro 2024