North Macedonia asks UEFA to investigate Marko Arnautovic
Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic is under fire after a controversial goal celebration in Sunday’s game against North Macedonia. Arnautovic is accused of racist North Macedonian fans after scoring a goal and North Macedonia has asked UEFA to investigate the situation, according to The Guardian.
It is unclear what Arnautovic said during the celebration, but he felt the need to apologize on Instagram on Monday. In the note, Arnautovic said he was “not a racist”.
“There were some heated words in the emotions of the game yesterday that I would like to apologize for – especially to my friends from North Macedonia and Albania.
“I would like to say one thing very clearly: I AM NOT A RACIST! I have friends in almost every country and I stand for diversity. Everyone who knows me knows that. “
The Macedonian Football Association (FFM) also released a statement on Monday that Arnautovic reportedly used “nationalist” language, according to The Guardian. FFM said Arnautovic directed his words to Ezgjan Alioski, a winger in North Macedonia.
Arnautovic, whose father is Serb, allegedly directed racist remarks against the Albanian Alioski. Due to the sovereignty of Kosovo, there are tensions between Serbia and Albania and North Macedonia. In 2008 Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia.
It’s not the first time the conflict has arisen during a game. Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri – Swiss internationals of Kosovar Albanian descent – received fines in 2018 after displaying a nationalist symbol in a victory over Serbia.
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