North Macedonia FA writes to Uefa over Marko Arnautovic remarks
Arnautovic has apologised for his outburst but denied being racist
The Football Association of North Macedonia has written to Uefa about remarks made by Marko Arnautovic after his goal for Austria on Sunday.
The former Stoke City and West Ham striker scored late on in the Euro 2020 game in Bucharest to secure a 3-1 win for Austria. He followed the goal with an angry outburst and had to be calmed by teammate David Alaba.
It was later alleged that Arnautovic had used his celebration to spread 'racist and anti-Albanian' rhetoric, with some reports claiming he had directed abuse at North Macedonia's Ezgjan Alioski, having clashed with him earlier in the game.
Arnautovic, whose father is Serbian, has since denied using racist language in a post shared on Instagram.
"There were some heated words yesterday in the emotions of the game for which I would like to apologise – especially to my friends from North Macedonia and Albania," Arnautovic's post read. "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."
A statement posted on the North Macedonian FA's Facebook page on Monday also suggested the comments were directed at Alioski.
The statement also confirmed that they had written to Uefa to demand that Arnautovic is issued with the strongest possible punishment.
The statement reads:
"The Football Federation of MACEDONIA strongly condemns the nationalistic 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."