Cenk Tosun has denied accusations that he celebrated a goal scored against Rotherham United with a hand gesture used by a far-right group in Saturday’s FA Cup win.
The Turkish striker, 29, thought he had bagged his second goal of the game after latching onto a James Rodriguez cross to steer past The Millers’ keeper Jamal Blackman.
The goal was ruled out by VAR but it was Tosun’s celebration that stirred some controversy. The forward raised his hands in the air, pointing his index finger and little finger to the sky for a moment.
Cenk Tosun has denied making a political gesture after scoring against Rotherham United
Tosun appeared to make a similar hand gesture to that used by a far-right Turkish group
Who are ‘Grey Wolves’?
The ‘Grey Wolves’ are a Turkish far-right organisation affiliated with the National Movement Party.
They are known for being ultra-nationalistic, Islamistic and neo-fascistic.
The group rose to prominence during the political violence in Turkey in the late 1970s, with its members engaging in urban guerrilla warfare against left-wing activists.
Their most notorious attack killed 100 Alevis in Maras in December 1978.
The same gesture is used by the ‘Grey Wolves’, a far-right, ultra-nationalist Turkish group.
The ‘Grey Wolves’ were banned by the French government last year, accusing them of ‘extremely violent actions’, disseminating ‘extremely violent threats’ and creating ‘incitement to hatred against authorities and Armenians.’
The gesture sparked debate among fans on social media, and while the club have made no official statement, it is understood that there was no political meaning behind the celebration.
According to The Athletic’s Patrick Boyland, club officials have spoken to the striker who denied that there was any political motive to the celebration, and that he doesn’t even know who the controversial group are.
The same report adds that Tosun insisted he was simply pointing to the sky in thanks after he thought he had put Everton ahead in the third round contest.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were forced into extra time against their Championship rivals, with a 93rd minute strike from Abdoulaye Doucare sending them onto the next round.
The Toffees are currently seventh in the Premier League, and will be hoping to go on another cup run this season having reached the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup in December.
However, the striker denies any political motivation and says he does not know of the group
Carlo Ancelotti’s side advanced to the next round after overcoming their Championship rivals