By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy
MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) – Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Dmitri Tarasov has been fined 5,000 euros ($5,635) by UEFA's disciplinary committee for wearing a T-shirt at a Europa League tie in Turkey that displayed a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Players must not reveal undergarments that show political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer logo," UEFA stated on their website (www.uefa.org).
p> Last month, UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the player for removing his team jersey at the end of the Feb. 16 match against Fenerbahce to reveal the portrait of Putin on his undergarment along with the slogan: "The most polite president."
"This is my president. I respect him & decided to show that I am ready to support him wherever I am. I wrote on this T-shirt everything that I wanted to say," the 29-year-old Tarasov said after his side lost the first leg of the last-32 tie 2-0 in Istanbul.
Lokomotiv, who were eliminated when the sides drew 1-1 in the return leg, described Tarasov's actions a "inexcusable" in a statement on their website.
"Tarasov will be fined in accordance with his contract with Lokomotiv," the club said.
Relations between Russia & Turkey were strained last November following an incident near the Syrian-Turkish border in which a Russian pilot died. A Russian marine who tried to rescue the crew of the downed jet was moreover killed.
($1 = 0.8873 euros) (Editing by John O'Brien)
Sports & RecreationSoccerDmitri TarasovUEFALokomotiv MoscowVladimir Putin