Fenerbahçe says no apology for pro-Putin chant during Dynamo Kyiv gave

Turkish football team Fenerbahçe will not issue an apology over fans’ chanting in support of  Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Champions League match against Ukraine's Dynamo Kyiv, Chairman Ali Koç said on Saturday.

Earlier this week, UEFA launched a disciplinary investigation against the Istanbul team over the "alleged misbehaviour of Fenerbahçe supporters," during Wednesday's Champions League qualifier against the Ukrainian team.

Ukraine should apologize to Fenerbahçe, Diken news site cited Koç as saying, over the Ukranian ambassador’s “measureless” remarks over the incident.

“It was chanting that was outside the scope of Fenerbahçe’s (club) identity, but what are we to do? Put a zipper on the mouths of fans?” the club chairman said. “We are talking about an incident that took 20 seconds.”

Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar in a Twitter post on Thursday said it was very saddening to hear Fenerbahçe fans chanting the name of  “a Russian murderer and aggressor who bombed our country.”

Koç said that he condemned the attempt to base a 20-second chant into a coordinated political identity, adding that Turkey’s stance on Russia’s occupation was “clear.”

Earlier this week, Fenerbahçe condemned the fans’ behaviour, saying it "does not accept the reaction that arises from some of our stands" and their "stance (is) that sports and politics should always be kept separate from each other." 

Turkey, a maritime neighbour to Russia and Ukraine, maintains good ties with both countries and has stepped up as mediator since the beginning of the war in February.

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