Turkey’s national football team has endured quite a trip to Iceland. In addition to being held up at Keflavik Airport for more than three hours by the airport’s staff, a Belgian national by the name of Corentin Siamang has caused an uproar with his attempt to publicly humiliate the national team.
As reporters lined up to ask one of Turkey’s football players, Emre Belozoglu, Siamang was seen standing next to the player holding up what appeared to be a toilet brush in Belozoglu’s face.
The incident took place as the Turkish midfielder was speaking to reporters about the poor treatment of the Turkish team was subjected to upon their arrival at the Reykjavik airport on Sunday evening.
The pictures caused mass hysteria in Turkey as fans took to social media to express their disgust at the man, who at the time was unnamed but has since been identified as Corentin Siamang, and the disrespectful treatment of the national team at the hands of Iceland’s authorities at the airport.
On Tuesday, Siamang appeared in a video alongside Turkish fans in Belgium where he apologized for his actions, claiming his stunt was meant to be seen as a joke.
“My goal was to make a joe. It wasn’t an attempt to insult Turkey or racism,” Siamang is heard telling the camera in French while wearing a Turkish national team jersey.
Celebrities, famous businessmen, politicians and even Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly condemned the officials responsible for allowing the incidents to take place.
Unfortunately, Turkey’s trip to Iceland also finished on a sour note as they succumbed to a 2-1 loss to Iceland in their Euro 2020 qualifier, just days after defeating France 2-0 at home.