The animosity between Russia and Turkey is spilling over to the soccer field. Lokomotiv Moscow’s Dmitri Tarasov recently revealed a picture of Vladimir Putin and the phrase ‘most polite president’ on the shirt under his jersey. Russian power did not help the cause that day, however, as the Turkish side Fenerbahce won 2-0.
“I didn’t want any provocations, I’m just a patriot of my country, and Putin is the president of our country,” the midfielder told LifeNews, adding that he might wear a Putin shirt “with a different caption” at his next match.
This was the first sporting event between teams from the 2 countries since Turkey shot down a Russian plane in November.
Fans of Lokomotiv in town for the game had stones and bottles thrown at their bus on the way to the match.
The match was the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie. The second leg is scheduled to be played in Moscow on February 25. It is uncertain whether Tarasov will be able to play in the match. UEFA has a policy against making political statements during matches and could suspend him for a minimum of 10 matches.