NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA said Thursday it is investigating Turkish club Fenerbahçe after its fans chanted the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a Champions League qualifying game against Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv.
The chants were heard at Fenerbahçe’s stadium in Istanbul shortly after Vitaliy Buyalskiy scored the opening goal for Dynamo in a game the Ukrainian team went on to win 2-1 after extra time on Wednesday.
“A UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding alleged misbehavior of Fenerbahçe supporters,” European soccer’s governing body said in a statement. “Information on this matter will be made available in due course.”
UEFA didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether the chants could count as banned discriminatory language, or could fall under a rule excluding “provocative messages” of a political nature.
Fenerbahçe said it rejected the chants and that it was unfair to blame the club. It also claimed fans had been provoked by “exaggerated gestures by some of the opposing team’s players.”
“We as Fenerbahçe do not accept the reaction that rose from some sections of the stands — whatever the reason may be,” the club said.
“It is not a fair and just approach to blame the (chants) that do not represent the stance and values of our club, to all of our fans and to put the responsibility on our club.”
The first leg of their qualifier was a 0-0 draw in Poland, where Dynamo is playing its European home games because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.