Turkey retain top spot in France’s group with draw in Paris – but could be in hot water after military-salute celebration of equaliser despite UEFA probe
- Substitute Olivier Giroud put France ahead just four minutes after coming on
- But sub Ayhan equalised for Turkey with a far-post header in the 81st minute
- The Turkey players celebrated the dramatic equaliser with a military salute
- UEFA launched an investigation after a similar celebration last Friday
Turkey’s Kaan Ayhan punished France for wasting chances with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw in the Stade de France which keeps Group H open.
Substitute Olivier Giroud thought he had rescued the hosts with a goal just four minutes after coming off the bench in the second half of their Euro 2020 qualifier, but Ayhan’s far-post header from a free-kick with nine minutes to go left the two teams level on 19 points, with Iceland closing to within four points after their win over Andorra.
Turkey players celebrated with a military salute despite UEFA launching an investigation into a similar celebration during Friday’s 1-0 win against Albania.
Turkey players celebrated Kaan Ayhan’s late equaliser with a military salute on Monday night
Turkey’s 1-0 win in Istanbul came on Friday, amid Turkish army clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria
Everton star Cenk Tosun posted the salute photo on Instagram, with the message: ‘For our nation, especially for the ones who are risking their lives for our nation.’
UEFA does not allow political gestures.
French police were on high alert after president Emmanuel Macron said Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish forces in Syria could lead to an ‘unsustainable humanitarian situation’ and ‘threatened to help the Islamic State group re-emerge in the region’.
With up to 40,000 Turkey fans expected at the stadium, some 1,000 police officers were on duty in and around the Stade de France to prevent potential crowd trouble, but the atmosphere remained peaceful throughout the evening.
‘We could have avoided that goal,’ France coach Didier Deschamps said.
‘We did everything we needed to win that game, we had the chances, they didn’t, but it is what it is.
Turkey equalised through Ayhan’s far-post header from a free-kick with nine minutes to go
‘It’s a good point. We’ll have to finish…