European soccer’s governing body UEFA has opened an investigation after Fenerbahce fans were heard singing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name during a Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Kyiv.
Turkish side Fenerbahce crashed out of the competition after Ukraine’s Kyiv scored an extra-time goal to win the second leg in Istanbul 2-1 on Wednesday. The first leg, held in Poland due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, had ended 0-0.
The incident, which was heavily criticized online, appeared to be sparked by Vitaliy Buyalskyi’s celebration after he put the visitors 1-0 up in the second half.
“A UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding alleged misbehavior of Fenerbahce supporters,” a UEFA statement read.
“Information on this matter will be made available in due course.”
Fenerbahce said in a statement that it didn’t accept the reaction from “some” of its supporters which “never represents the stance and values of our club.”
It also said it was “unfair” to attribute the rhetoric to all its fans.
Videos shared online appear to show a large section of fans singing Putin’s name shortly after Buyalskyi had celebrated in front of the home fans.
It came moments after Fenerbahce midfielder Ismail Yuksek was sent off in a fiery match.
Vasyl Bodnar, Ukrainian Ambassador to Ankara, said it was “sad” to hear the chants.
“Football is a fair game. Yesterday, Dynamo Kyiv was stronger,” he wrote on social media.
“It is very sad to hear the supporting words of the Fenerbahce fans – in favor of the Russian murderer and assaulter who is bombing our country.
“I am grateful to fellow Turkish people for their support to Ukraine and for their consideration about the inappropriate actions of the fans.”
CNN has reached out to Dynamo Kyiv for comment.