UPDATE – UEFA to investigate Arnautovic’s goal celebration

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UPDATE – UEFA has opened an investigation into Austria forward Marko Arnautovic’s goal celebration in their opening match of the Euros against North Macedonia, European soccer’s governing body said on Tuesday. 

North Macedonia urged UEFA to look into Arnautovic’s reaction after he scored in the 89th minute to complete Austria’s 3-1 win on Sunday.

Second-half substitute Arnautovic appeared furious as he celebrated his late goal, before captain David Alaba stepped in to restrain him.

“An Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct an investigation regarding the incident involving the player Marko Arnautovic that occurred during the 2020 European Championship group-stage match between the national teams of Austria and North Macedonia on 13 June 2021,” UEFA said in a statement.

Arnautovic, who has Serbian background, apologised on Monday for his reaction towards North Macedonia fans but denied he had used racist language towards them.

Serbia does not recognise the independence of its former province Kosovo. 

North Macedonia’s soccer governing body (FFM) said that Arnautovic’s remarks were aimed at North Macedonia’s Gjanni Alioski, who has Albanian roots

North Macedonia ask UEFA to investigate Arnautovic’s goal celebration

North Macedonia’s football federation (FFM) has called on UEFA to investigate Austria forward Marko Arnautovic’s reaction after he scored during their Euro 2020 match on Sunday.

Second-half substitute appeared furious as he celebrated his late goal, before captain David Alaba stepped in to restrain him.

The 32-year-old, who has Serbian background, apologised on Monday for his reaction towards North Macedonia fans but denied he had using racist language towards them.

The FFM said Arnautovic’s remarks were aimed at North Macedonia’s Gjanni Alioski, who has Albanian roots.

Serbia does not recognise the independence of its former province Kosovo, while there is historic tension between Serbia and both Albania and North Macedonia.

“The FFM strongly condemns the nationalistic outburst of Austrian player Marko Arnautovic, after a goal scored in yesterday’s match, addressed to Ezgjan Alioski,” the FFM said on Facebook on Monday. 

“At the same time, we inform you that we have submitted an official letter to UEFA demanding the harshest punishment for Arnautovic.

“We are always against nationalism, discrimination and all other forms of insults and outbursts that are not in the spirit of football and values that we all stand together,” the FFM added.

“We will always stand up and defend the interests and dignity of Macedonian national players wherever they perform.”

Reuters has requested comment from UEFA.

Reuters

Photo – Marko Arnautovic (R) of Austria celebrates with team-mates after scoring the 3-1 goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 group C preliminary round soccer match between Austria and North Macedonia in Bucharest, Romania, 13 June 2021. EPA-EFE/Robert Ghement / POOL