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Euro 2024: Serbia threaten to quit tournament after chanting from Croatian and Albanian fans

The chanting allegedly occurred during yesterday's game in Hamburg

Hamburg

Serbia have threatened to withdraw from Euro 2024 unless Croatia and Albania are sanctioned for abusive chanting by their supporters.

Chants of “kill, kill the Serb” were reported from both sets of fans during Croatia’s 2-2 draw with Albania in Hamburg yesterday.

The general secretary of the Serbian FA Jovan Surbatovic told state broadcaster RTS: “What happened is scandalous and we will ask UEFA for sanctions, even if it means not continuing in the competition.

“We do not want to participate in that, but if UEFA does not punish them, we will think how will we proceed.”

Surbatovic insisted Serbians were “gentlemen” despite their FA being fined £12,250 after their fans were found to have thrown objects on to the field during their 1-0 defeat to England on Sunday evening.

He added: “We were punished for isolated cases and our fans behaved much better than the others.

“One fan was punished for racist insults and we don’t want it to be attributed to others. We Serbs are gentlemen and we have an open heart, so I appeal to the fans to remain gentlemen.”

The Serbian FA later issued an open letter to UEFA demanding to know why their ‘three steps’ procedure was not followed at the time of the chanting.

That would have seen the game temporarily stopped for a warning to be issued over the public address system. If it continued the game would be suspended before being abandoned if the chanting carried on.

The statement read: “As you probably know, from 58 minutes and 28 seconds to 58 minutes and 50 seconds, Croatian and Albanian fans shouted “kill, kill the Serb” together. 

“This was not individuals but a large number of fans from these national teams, which at that moment were not sanctioned in accordance with UEFA’s regulations, which are clear, as well as the actions of officials in those situations. 

“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, especially at a major sporting event like this, which is followed throughout Europe and the world.

“Instead of the football stadium being a place where one can cheer on one’s own teams and promote a sporting and fair atmosphere, completely unacceptable behaviour was seen at this game, which is impossible to justify in any way. 

“According to the information we have, one player of the Albanian team, after the end of the game, in front of the tribune with Albanian fans, used a megaphone to shout the same cry and thus “inflame” the crowd.

“The Football Association of Serbia believes that at the moment when the above-mentioned chanting by the fans started, the game should have been stopped and the “three steps” procedure should have been started. 

“We are surprised that it was not applied by UEFA officials at the match.

“We ask you to punish those responsible for the above-mentioned events as soon as possible and ensure that the matches are played normally. We want to remind you that this kind of rampant hatred and racism represent everything that your organisation is fighting against.”

Serbia return to action this afternoon when they take on Slovenia in Munich.

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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