Erdogan attacks Rojava, the Turkish military advance goes on; the American strategy; the activities of the Syrian regime’s army.To make matters worse, the Turkish president, like any other dictator, is using sport as propaganda and as means for increasing his power. You can not, indeed, turn a blind eye to the shameful military operation of the Turkish government; to another assault to Rojava and to its people and to another destruction of the Middle East. In such a situation the sporting community has to take a firm and clear position.
We all well know that sport is politics, and those who deny it are consciounsly lying. Moreover, it is undeniable the fact that in the last days the theme football-politics is dominating the international politics debate.
Indeed, after the attack to the North Syria, Erdogan’s loyal and faithful athletes have almost immediately show their support to the sultan and to the military operations. Italian footbal players like Merih Demiral, Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Cengiz Ünder have supported Erdogan through their social profiles. The fact occurred at the end of the match between Albania and Turkey has been shocking, but in line with Turkish politics.
Indeed, the gesture of bringing the stretched hand to the forehead simulating a military salute, made by almost all the regular players (and by a number of reserve players) after the goal by Tosun, is a way of honouring the Turkish decision of starting a military intervention in the North-East of Syria.
But if on the one hand there is a team of supporters, on the oher hand a huge number of athletes has a different opinion. Instead, few sport clubs have taken a firm stand against the issue. The athlete who represents the opposition against Erdogan is Deniz Naki. Since years he has been forced to live away from Turkey due to the persecutions and the condemnations pursued by the Turkish regime. Some clubs, like the St.Pauli, have chosen to push away those who have supported this war. Indeed, the German club, after discussions with players, managers and supporters – has decided to released Cenk Sabin affirming that “The prime factors in reaching the decisions were his repeated disregard for the club’s values(…)That we reject acts of war is not open to doubt or discussion, however. These acts, and the expression of solidarity with them, run counter to the values of the club”. In his last post on Instagram Sahin has clearly supported the war pursued by Erdogan. In the meantime, the Basaksehir, a team very close to the dictator, has invited the player to go back to Turkey for playing with a team that can undoubtedly be defined as Erdogan’s team. Following this decision the European footbal society should plusk up the courage to take a firm stand on what is going on.
The fact that the Champions League final will be played in Instanbul is a shame. It will be a big event that will provide visibility and will bring money to a State that since many years has been killing thousand of people. The last military intervention is only the tip of the iceberg of the violent politics brought on by Erdogan.
As the editorial staff of Sport alla Rovescia we invite all the community sports club, that since always have decided their side, but also associations, unions, individuals and supporters’ groups, to sign this call, where we ask to move the Champions League final to an other place. We want deliver this document to the FIGC, hoping they will act as spokesperson at European level speaking in favor of this request.
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