Turkish Football Federation (TFF) President Mehmet Buyukeksi condemned UEFA’s two-match suspension for Merih Demiral‘s gray wolf gesture during a match as “unjust, unlawful, and unfair.”

“Today’s penalty on Merih shows it is unjust, unlawful, unfair, and a highly political issue,” Buyukeksi told reporters in Berlin. “The gesture made has no political significance and has symbolized Turkish identity for centuries.”

Emphasizing that the TFF has taken necessary actions and prepared a 27-page defense, Buyukeksi said: “But we saw that a decision was made in advance and published in a newspaper even before our defense was reviewed.”

“Reading a 27-page defense would take hours. Hopefully, tomorrow, our players will give the best response on the field against the Netherlands at Berlin Olympic Stadium,” he said. “The entire Turkish nation is standing up right now. We call on everyone to remain calm. We also ask our Turkish citizens living here to support our team with the same calmness and not to forget their prayers.”

In the match Tuesday, which Turkey won 2-1, Demiral scored both goals.

UEFA launched an investigation after Demiral celebrated with the gray wolf sign at that match.

Demiral, a national team player since 2018, has scored four goals in 48 international caps.

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