Europe’s soccer governing body says it has opened disciplinary proceedings against a Russian soccer player for wearing a T-shirt praising Russian President Vladimir Putin after a Europa League match in Turkey.
UEFA took the action a day after Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Dmitry Tarasov removed his team jersey at the end of the game against Fenerbahce in Istanbul on February 17, revealing a picture of Putin and the words: "The most polite president."
Diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey soured after a Russian war plane was shot down by the Turkish Air Force last November.
"This is my president. I respect him and decided to show that I am ready to support him wherever I am. I wrote on this T-shirt everything that I wanted to say," Tarasov said after his side lost 2-0.
Lokomotiv described Tarasov's actions as "inexcusable" and said the player would be fined.
Russian sports news agency R-Sport quoted a UEFA source as saying that Tarasov could be banned for a minimum of 10 matches and that Lokomotiv may also face sanctions.