'Soldiers of an enemy army': French politicians call for football match against Turkey to be canceled

    Turkish players perform a military salute after Cenk Tosun's winning goal against Albania.

    (CNN)Several leading French politicians have called for France's Euro 2020 qualifier against Turkey in Paris to be called off after Turkish players enacted a military salute in Friday's victory over Albania.

    The gesture came days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched an incursion into Syria to drive Kurdish forces away from the border, following US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw all remaining American forces out of northern Syria.
    The salute was made following Cenk Tosun's stoppage-time winner against Albania in Istanbul, which maintained Turkey's place at the top of Group H.
      After the match, the official Twitter page for the Turkish national team uploaded a photo showing the entire squad and coaching staff making the same gesture in the changing room, with the caption saying the players "have dedicated their victory to our brave soldiers and fellow martyrs."
      Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of France's populist left-wing party France Insoumise, tweeted: "If Turkish footballers do the military salute, they must expect to be treated as the soldiers of an enemy army. So we do not play football against them. The basics of sportsmanship are no longer there!"
      Meanwhile, Jean Christophe Lagarde, leader of the centre-right UDI, said: "With this military salute, the Turkish football team has broken the border that must separate sports from politics. We cannot welcome with decency at the Stade de France tomorrow those who salute the slaughter of our Kurdish allies."
      Melenchon and Lagarde included the hashtag #AnnulationMatchFranceTurquie, while leader of France's far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, tweeted: "Being the platform of #Erdogan's propaganda, whose actions in #Syria worry the international community, the Turkish football team has flouted the values of sport.
      "It is time for UEFA to sanction this political drift of the Turkish Football Federation!"