Euro 2024: Serbia threatens to withdraw due to chants by Croatian and Albanian fans

Serbia has threatened to withdraw from the 2024 European Championship because of fans’ chants during the match between Croatia and Albania on Wednesday.

During the 2-2 draw in the Group B match, fans could be heard chanting about the killing of Serbs.

The general secretary of the Serbian Football Association, Jovan Surbatovic, demanded the harshest punishment.

He told Serbian state broadcaster RTS: “What happened is a scandal and we will ask UEFA (European football’s governing body) for sanctions, even if that means the competition cannot continue.”

Serbia is in Group C and started the tournament with a 0-1 defeat against England on Sunday.

Surbatovic said he was “sure they will be punished” after UEFA decided on Wednesday to withdraw the accreditation of Kosovar journalist Arlind Sadiku.

Sadiku made a nationalist gesture with two hands and an eagle towards Serbian fans during the match against England. The gesture imitates the eagle on Albania’s national flag, which has the potential to cause tension between Serbian nationalists and ethnic Albanians, who make up the vast majority of Kosovo’s population.

“We will ask UEFA to punish the associations of both teams,” added Surbatovic.

“We don’t want to take part in it, but if UEFA doesn’t punish them, we will consider how to proceed.”

The BBC has contacted Serbia and UEFA for further comment.

Serbia was Fine of £12,250 after fans threw objects during the England game.

Serbia and Albania were also fined because fans of both countries showed banners with nationalist maps, external in their opening games.

“We were punished for individual cases and our fans behaved much better than the others,” said Surbatovic.

“A fan was punished for racist insults and we do not want this to be attributed to others. We Serbs are gentlemen and have an open heart, so I appeal to the fans to remain gentlemen.”

Serbia’s next match is against Slovenia on Thursday at 14:00 (CEST).

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