Marko Arnautovic has been suspended by UEFA for insulting his opponent from North Macedonia for one match at the European Championship.
The player who has Serbian heritage is found guilty for giving direct comments at Egzon Bejtulai and Gianni Alioski, the ones with Albanian roots, during his late goal celebration over a 3-1 victory for Franco Coda’s side. He is charged with “insulting another player” under UEFA’s disciplinary rules and will miss Austria’s game against the Netherlands tomorrow. The player was accused by the North Macedonia soccer federation for his behaviour.
During yesterday’s #Euro2020 match, Austrian striker Arnautovic went on a racist rant against Albanians and flashed the “white power” symbol to Albanian-Macedonian footballer, Ezgjan Alioski.
— Team Albanians (@TeamAlbanians) June 14, 2021
Serbia doesn’t acknowledge the independence of its former province Kosovo, while there is historic stress between Serbia and North Macedonia. The tension between them erupted in 2001 when Albanians fought with government forces in demand of more rights.
Arnautovic was born in Austria and has a Serbian father. The forward denied being a racist while issuing an apology following the incident. He pleaded in his story on Instagram for his offensive goal celebration and wrote, “There were some heated words yesterday in the emotions of the game for which I would like to apologise, especially to my friends from North Macedonia and Albania. I would like to say one thing very clear: I am not a racist. I have friends in almost every country and I stand for diversity. Everyone who knows me is aware of that.”