Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Fans Warned To Avoid Political Stunts At Game With Turkey

Lokomotiv Moscow's Dmitry Tarasov wearing a T-shirt depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves the pitch after the match at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul on February 16.

Russian soccer club Lokomotiv Moscow has warned fans against using political slogans for the Europa League team's second match with Fenerbahce on February 25.

League authorities are moving to penalize Lokomotiv midfielder Dmitry Tarasov for wearing a pro-Putin T-shirt in the first-leg match, which Lokomotiv lost 2-0 last week in Istanbul.

"Please abstain from any political slogans," Lokomotiv told fans on February 24, saying the team shares the league's "zero tolerance" for "political propaganda."

Russia's Interior Ministry, which polices matches, also urged fans not to repeat "contemptible stunts of provocateurs," and said those who do face "negative consequences."

After the first match, Tarasov stripped to a T-shirt showing Russian President Vladimir Putin and a slogan backing Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

His politically fraught gesture came amid a diplomatic war between Russia and Turkey following Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and TASS