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Russia's Lokomotiv FC slams footballer's behaviour for Putin T-shirt at match in Turkey

February 17, 16:44 UTC+3
A Russian footballer took off his team’s jersey revealing a T-shirt with the portrait of Putin captioned "The most polite president"
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Dmitry Tarasov

Dmitry Tarasov

© AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow football club regards the gesture of its player Dmitry Tarasov during the club’s away match against Turkey’s Fenerbahce on Tuesday night as "inadmissible," the club’s statement addressed to TASS said.

Following the final whistle 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 T-shirt with the picture of Putin captioned "The most polite president."

"Lokomotiv FC regards as inadmissible the gesture made by Dmitry Tarasov after the match of the Europa League Round of Last 32 against Turkey’s Fenerbahce," the statement said. "Tarasov will be subjected to a disciplinary penalty within the frames of his personal contract with Lokomotiv FC."

"The organizer of the tournament prohibits all participants of matches manifestations of all images whatsoever, even if they are of a good-will intention," the statement said. "Political, ideological or religious propaganda are prohibited on the territory of football and Lokomotiv FC absolutely sides with UEFA regarding this issue."

"Unfortunately, the staff of our club had no chance of preventing this act as the footballer kept it as a secret to himself," the club said. "Dmitry’s initiative turned out to be improper and harmful both for the club and himself."

The Russian player told various media after the match that he did not intend any sort of provocations by exposing his T-shirt with the image of the Russian president.

The Union of the European Football Associations (UEFA) announced earlier in the day that it opened disciplinary proceedings in regard to Lokomotiv Moscow FC.

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.

The UEFA Control Ethics and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case on March 17, the statement from UEFA added.

Wednesday’s match in Istanbul 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.

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