NYON: Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Dmitri Tarasov has been fined €5,000 by UEFA for the provocative gesture of revealing a T-shirt portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Europa League tie in Turkey.
High tension was sparked between Russia and Turkey last November after an incident near the Syrian-Turkish border when a Russian fighter plane was shot down with the consequent death of the pilot.
Last month, UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the player for removing his team jersey at the end of the February 16 match against Fenerbahce to reveal the portrait of Putin on his undergarment along with the slogan: “The most polite president.”
A statement on UEFA’s website reiterated: “Players must not reveal undergarments that show political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer logo.”
Tarasov, after the 2-0 defeat, had said: “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.”
Lokomotiv, eliminated when the sides drew 1-1 in the return leg, described Tarasov’s actions a “inexcusable” in a statement on their website. The club added: “Tarasov will be fined in accordance with his contract with Lokomotiv.”