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MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has opened disciplinary proceedings in regard to Lokomotiv Moscow FC player Dmitry Tarasov over his improper behavior during his club’s away match against Turkey’s Fenerbahce FC on Tuesday night, UEFA said in a statement addressed to TASS.
Following the final siren in the first leg match of the UEFA Europa League Round of Last 32 between Lokomotiv and Fenerbahce, held at Sukru Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul, Russian club’s footballer Dmitry Tarasov took off his team’s jersey revealing a tee-shirt with the picture of Putin captioned "The most polite president."
UEFA said in its statement that charges against Lokomotiv were opened for "Improper conduct of Lokomotiv player Dmitry Tarasov after the match."
"Players must not reveal undergarments that show political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer logo," the statement said.
"A player/team of a player that reveals an undergarment that shows political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer logo will be sanctioned by the competition organizer," UEFA’s statement added.
The Russian player told various media after the matche that he did not intend any sort of provocations by exposing his T-shirt with the image of the Russian president.
The UEFA Control Ethics and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case on March 17, the statement from UEFA added.
Earlier in the day Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the incident saying "I would rather not be making any statements about football affairs."The match ended with the 2-0 Fenerbahce victory over Lokomotiv. Both goals were scored by Fenerbahce’s defensive midfielder Souza in the 18th and 72nd minutes of the match.
The second leg encounter of the Round of 32 between Lokomotiv and Fenerbahce had been scheduled for February 25 in Moscow.
Unprecedented security measures were observed before, during and after Wednesday’s match in Istanbul. Only a single incident was reported during the event, when Fenerbahce’s fans hurled objects at a bus carrying Lokomotiv’s fans.
The incident took place before the match, when the bus arrived at the stadium, but Turkish police, which provided escort for Russian fans, promptly thwarted the assault and detained three fans of Fenerbahce football club.
Lokomotiv played an away UEFA Europa League’s match against Besiktas FC in November, when numerous violent clashes of fans with police were reported before and after the match. Turkish police was not reported to escort Russian football fans at that time.
The issue of security during the match between the Russian and Turkish football clubs was also in particular focus as relations between the two countries had been recently strained.