To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
Featured Image Credit: Image: TRT SPOR
Turkish footballer Aykut Demir has caused a stir after refusing to wear a t-shirt in solidarity with Ukraine - prompting the player himself to explain his decision.
Demir, who captains Erzurumspor in the second tier of Turkish football, was the only player not to sport a 'No to war' t-shirt ahead of their 1-0 defeat to Ankaragucu on Sunday.
With the armband on, the 33-year-old was simply wearing his home shirt as the two sides lined up prior to the fixture.
It prompted a negative reaction on social media, with plenty highly critical of Demir.
@FIFAcom @UEFAcom— Tulga Eren (@TulgaEren) February 27, 2022
Please cancel the licence of player called "Aykut Demir" captain of ErzurumSpor FC in the Turkish Football League. He does not deserve it as he refuse to wear the shirt dening the war in Ukraine.https://t.co/icoQKZuX6P
Aykut Demir is aligned with the Naqshbandi spiritual order of Sunni Islam Sufism, he refused to wear a No War T-shirt, but when he left Trabzonspor, he asked for compensation with exchange rate difference and interest... pic.twitter.com/jJML7Fc3d1— Riza Seref 🇺🇦 Слава Україні! (@RizaSeref) February 27, 2022
Aykut Demir: "Ortadoğu coğrafyasında her gün binlerce insan ölüyor. Oralardaki zulmü görmezden gelenler, ses çıkarmayanlar konu Avrupa olunca bunları yapıyor. O ülkelere yapılmadığı için tişörtü giymek içime sinmedi. Giyseydim vicdanım rahat etmezdi." (Futbol Anadolu) pic.twitter.com/4avZZhj8ji— Buzz Spor (@buzzspor) February 28, 2022
Sayın @Erzurumspor yönetimi eğer savaşa hayır tişörtü giymeyen Aykut Demir ilgili konuşulanlarla doğru ise bugün itibarı ile takımla ilişkisini kesip göndermeniz için daha ne bekliyorsunuz ! pic.twitter.com/L1UupR1beS— 5.Murat⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (@Hergulera) February 27, 2022
Bir sporcu 'Savaşa Hayır' tişörtü giymeyi neden istemez ki? Bu nasıl biri böyle?— ꓓⲉⲙⳑi (@TheDemli) February 27, 2022
Muhammet Aykut Demir, Hollanda doğumlu Türk futbolcudur. 1. Lig ekiplerinden B.B.Erzurumspor'da oynamakta ve üstelik takım kaptanı. pic.twitter.com/3P02yVrblm
But Demir, who was born in the Netherlands but has played for Turkish national team, highlighted double standards and said people are suffering daily in the Middle East.
"Thousands of people die every day in the Middle East," he told Football Anatolia, as per Fanatik.
"I feel said too. I share the pain of innocent people.
"Those who ignore the persecution there are doing these things when it comes to Europe.
"I did not like to wear the T-shirt because it was not made for those countries."
On Sunday, Benfica's Ukrainian striker Roman Yaremchuk struggled to hold back the tears after being met with a wonderful reception when brought on as a substitute.
The former Dynamo Kyiv man replaced two-goal striker Darwin Nunez in the 3-0 win over Vitoria and was handed the captain's armband by Jan Vertonghen in a wonderful gesture.
And after receiving a standing ovation, Yaremchuk was visibly emotional after he entered the fray.
Meanwhile, FIFA and UEFA have confirmed all Russian national teams and clubs have been suspended from competing until further notice following the full-scale invasion launched by Vladimir Putin.
The governing bodies released a statement, which ruled the Russian sides out of any European club and international competitions in the near future.