Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has offered a place on a Chechen soccer team to a Russian player who was punished by the governing body of European soccer for wearing a pro-Putin T-shirt during a match in Turkey.
Kadyrov wrote on Instagram on February 21 that "Terek is ready to buy" the player, Dmitry Tarasov. Kadyrov is the honorary president of Terek Grozny, a team in the Chechen capital.
UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, charged Tarasov with improper conduct under its ban on clothing carrying political slogans after he wore the T-shirt in a match on February 16 against the Turkish team Fenerbahce in Istanbul.
The player faces a potentially lengthy ban at a hearing next month.
Kadyrov also said that if Tarasov did not want to join, the Chechen club was willing to pay off a fine slapped on Tarasov by his Lokomotiv Moscow club.
Relations between Turkey and Russia have chilled since Ankara shot down a Russian warplane in a disputed encroachment of its airspace in November near the Syrian border.
Based on reporting by AFP