NYON (Switzerland): Players and officials of Azerbaijani club Qarabag who made military salutes at a Europa League game while the country was in conflict with Armenia were warned by UEFA on Thursday.
The incident on Oct. 1 came days after hostilities flared between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
UEFA listed 13 players and 14 club officials who made the gesture in the stadium in Poland where Qarabag played Legia Warsaw. They included players from Colombia and Cape Verde.
UEFA said “performing military salute (is) considered as inappropriate given the specific political context at the time.”
Qarabag beat Legia 3-0 in the playoff and advanced to a group stage campaign beginning Thursday away to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
UEFA previously ruled national and club teams from Azerbaijan and Armenia cannot host games in its competitions until further notice.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenian forces since 1994. A separatist war started after the breakup of the Soviet Union three years earlier.