Lokomotiv’s Tarasov taunts Turkish fans with a dose of President Putin

A Russian footballer taunted Turkish fans by pulling off his shirt to reveal a picture of President Putin after a match in Istanbul.

Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Dmitri Tarasov’s vest showed Mr Putin with the words “the most polite president”.

The politically-charged Europa League match was the biggest sporting encounter between the nations since Turkey shot down a Russian jet in November. Turkish side Fenerbahce won 2-0.

Lokomotiv Moscow will now be sanctioned because players are not allowed to show political statements at matches, European football’s governing body Uefa said.

But Tarasov later defended his behaviour.

“It’s my president. I respect him and decided to show that I’m always with him and prepared to give my support.

“What was written on that shirt was everything that I wanted to say.”

Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak described the gesture as “a Putin provocation”.


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