Fenerbahce expects apology from ambassador for expressing grief over pro-Putin chants
The chair of a popular Turkish sports club whose fans chanted "Vladimir Putin" in a UEFA Champions League qualifier game when the rival Ukrainian team scored a goal, said that they would not apologize, and that the Ukrainian ambassador should apologize for his remarks.
The fans of Fenerbahce SC displayed an act of poor sportsmanship on Thursday against the visiting Dynamo Kiev when they cheered for Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader who ordered the invasion of Ukraine in late February, after Dynamo Kiev midfielder Vitaliy Buyalskyi put his team 1-0 ahead in the game.
During a monthly board meeting, Ali Koc, the chair of Fenerbahce SC and a wealthy businessman, claimed on Saturday that "only a handful of fans" were involved in the incident, and plainly said, "We will not apologize from Ukraine."
He also claimed that the Ukrainian ambassador and foreign relations spokesperson could have been "influenced by the efforts of Turkish rival fans on social media," and the two diplomats were the ones who should express their apologies.
Koc went on to say that expecting an apology from Fenerbahce was an insult to the club. "You cannot insult Fenerbahce," he said.
Vasyl Bodnar, Ukraine's ambassador in Ankara, said on Thursday:
"Football is a fair game. Dynamo Kiev was the stronger side yesterday. It is very sad to hear Fenerbahce fans cheering for the Russian murderer and aggressor who has been bombarding our country. I am grateful for the support of the friendly Turkish people and their assessments regarding the unpleasant cheering by the fans."