North Macedonian FA write to UEFA over Arnautovic comments

The North Macedonian FA has written to UEFA over comments that Austria striker Marko Arnautovic made during the Euro 2020 group stage clash between the two sides on Sunday.

Arnautovic scored Austria’s third goal in their 3-1 victory, having joined the action as a substitute early in the second half.

The 32-year-old then caused controversy with his celebration, and it has since been claimed that he directed comments at Macedonian pair Ezgjan Alioski and Egzon Bejtulai, who have Albanian roots.

He had to be restrained by teammate David Alaba during the celebrations.

Arnautovic’s father is Serbian, and there have been political tensions between Serbia and both Albania and North Macedonia.

In an Instagram post, Arnautovic apologised for his celebration, and added: “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 is aware of that.”

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North Macedonian FA statement in full

The North Macedonian FA published a statement on its Facebook page, saying it had sent a letter to UEFA demanding the harshest possible punishment for Arnautovic.

They said: “The Football Federation of Macedonia strongly condemns the nationalist outbreak of Austrian representative Marko Arnautovic, after a goal scored in yesterday’s match with Macedonia addressed to Macedonian representative Ezdjan Alioski.

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

“As a “House of Football” 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.

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

UEFA have since appointed a disciplinary inspector to investigate the incident involving Arnautovic.

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