UEFA explain why they won't hold silence for victims of Istanbul attack

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UEFA have confirmed that players competing in the quarter-finals of the European Championships will not hold a minute's silence for the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Istanbul's airport.

Three terrorists arrived at Turkey's busiest airport armed with automatic weapons and explosives late on Tuesday. Police responded quickly but the attackers blew themselves up when they started to be fired upon.

In total, 41 people, including 13 foreign nationals, were killed in the attacks, making it one of the deadliest to have happened since November's assault in Paris, which was carried out by militants of the so-called Islamic State. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has suggested this attack was also the work of the same group although no group has yet claimed responsibility.


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Despite the large scale of the atrocities and the fact that the Turkish national team were competing in Euro 2016, UEFA said the attacks do not qualify for a minute's silence.

This has been reported by AP journalist Rob Harris, who tweeted: "UEFA: No minute's silence for Istanbul airport victims at #EURO2016 quarterfinals. UEFA says it holds minute's silence when tragedies are 'related to football directly, or to one of the participating teams or host country'."


As expected, the strange decision has been met with justified outrage on social media with Turkish nationals accusing UEFA of championing the lives of Western Europeans over that of their own.


A delicate issue arose after the Paris attacks in which many in Turkey believed a similar attack on their capital city, Ankara, had been flatly ignored by Western media as well as the footballing community.

One-hundred-and-three people had been killed and over 400 injured after two bombs were detonated outside the Ankara Central railway station but the feeling within the country was that it went underreported and the lives lost underappreciated.

Turkish football fans responded by booing and whistling during a minute's silence for the victims of the Paris attacks before an international against Greece.

As you many of you will understand, this latest decision has only furthered their suspicions.

High-risk threat

France remains in a state of emergency for the tournament which has granted police greater authority when dealing with threats. Security around the stadiums has been the tightest in history as Euro 2016 was believed to be a prime target for terrorists.

Turkey, situated on the border with Syria, represents a much easier target and has thus suffered from a number of attacks in recent months.

The quarter-finals get underway on Thursday when Poland take on Portugal. That is followed by Wales v Belgium on Friday, Germany v Italy on Saturday and finally France v Iceland on Sunday.

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England Football
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