Posted on December 11, 2007

Turkey: Complaint Over Football Jersey With Symbol ‘Offensive to Islam’

ADN Kronos (Rome), December 11, 2007

A Turkish lawyer has filed a complaint to UEFA, the European football federation, after Italian club Inter Milan wore a football jersey with a symbol said to be offensive to Islam, during a game with the Turkish team Fenerbahçe.

The symbol of the northern Italian city of Milan, a red cross on a white background, was on the Inter Milan shirts during the Champions League game in November which saw Fenerbahçe lose by 3 goals to zero at Milan’s San Siro stadium.

Lawyer Baris Kaska, has asked a Turkish tribunal to sanction Inter Milan for wearing the shirts which he says reminded Turks of an emblem of the Christian order of the Knights Templar.

The symbol is tied closely to the Crusades in the Middle Ages, when the Christian powers of Europe tried to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims, with constant and ferocious military expeditions.

Kaska said that the symbol is considered offensive in Islamic culture and asked the Turkish tribunal to sanction Inter Milan for their ‘racist’ action.

He has asked UEFA, which organises the Champions League tournament, to cancel the three points earned by Inter Milan after its victory over Fenerbahçe.

In an interview with Spain’s daily La Vanguardia, Kaska said that “the cross reminded me of the bloody days of the past.”

Inter Milan consciously decided not to wear the controversial shirt during their match in Istanbul, but did not think it was necessary to do the same while playing the return game in Milan.