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Le Pen blasts Turkish soccer fans for ignoring FIFA rules

On Saturday, June 8 in the evening, the French anthem was lavishly hissed at by Turkish fans during a match between Turkey and France. The open affront to French fans was played down by the president of the French Football Federation.

Published: June 10, 2019, 11:00 am

    One of the symbols of France was trampled upon on Saturday, as Blue team members were preparing to face their Turkish counterparts in Konya. Supporters of the latter hissed during the playing of the French anthem, an attitude preceded, moments earlier, by boos too for the tricolor footballers.

    “For me, there was no incident,” said the president of the FFF on Monday, June 10. “It’s unfortunate,” he admitted, claiming that “[Turkish] leaders were embarrassed” by this incident.

    “A number of Turks hissed at the players throughout the game,” he added, saying that it was only a few of the 42 000 spectators present in the stadium, and not everybody.

    However, this episode did not pass the scrutiny of Marine Le Pen. “Hissing at a national anthem, in this case the Marseillaise, is always a shame, an affront and the opposite of the values ​​of fair play. FIFA is expected to sanction the Turkish football federation for the disrespect of the Turkish public tonight,” the National Rally’s president wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening.

    A similar reaction came from the party’s European leader, Jordan Bardella: “The values ​​of sport include respect for the opponent and his national anthem. The attitude of the Turkish audience tonight, which hissed at la Marseillaise, is unworthy and must be strongly sanctioned by FIFA. Enough to be trampled upon with impunity,” he wrote.

    Emmanuel Macron also reacted after the events on Sunday, informing the president of the FFF, Noël Le Graët, that he found it “unacceptable” that hissing was directed at French players. For its part, the Turkish Federation said it was “pained” by these hostile acts, and apologized, while stating that its supporters had taken “the bad habit” of hissing at all the opposing nations at international meetings.

    France lost the match with 0 to 2 goals.

    Hundreds of Turks in Paris celebrated their country’s surprise win against the world champions by marching on famous landmarks late on Saturday night.

    The celebrations resulted in several streets in the French capital being flooded with Turkish fans wearing their country’s colours as they marched towards the Arc de Triomphe.

    Turkish under coach Senol Günes praised fans for their “support” in the Konya stadium. “We were one [on the field], we had great synergy,” he said after the game.

    “We gained morale and self-confidence. We refreshed hopes.” The coach could not fault anybody as he reflected on an “awesome” night.

    He told broadcaster Spor Arena: “This team is here to give both hope and happiness. The players and fans were awesome. We played with discipline and with one heart.”

    The Turkish national football team has meanwhile received a “racist”, “rude”, “disrespectful” and “offensive” welcome at Iceland’s airport, TRT World reported.

    The team arrived in the country for a Euro 2020 qualifying fixture, which they will play on Tuesday night, but after landing in the country’s Keflavik Airport, the team were not allowed to leave for over three hours, with Icelandic airport officials offering no reason for this.

    But airport officials insisted on searching the bags of all players and staff. “What they have done is disrespectful and rude! We have been waiting here for three hours. They took everyone’s bags and even everyone’s cosmetics. They searched it again and again. We flew for 6.5 hours and we’ve waited for three hours,” one player complained.

    Turkish captain Emre Belozoglu was stopped by a local who held a toilet brush to his face as a makeshift microphone. Icelandic officials and UEFA are yet to comment.

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