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21st Jun 2024

UEFA have issued a statement in response to Serbia’s threat to quit Euro 2024

Zoe Hodges

Serbia threatened to quit Euro 2024 and made a formal complaint to UEFA about the behaviour of Croatia and Albania fans in their 2-2 draw in Hamburg on Wednesday.

The Serbian FA claimed fans had been chanting, “Kill, kill, kill the Serb” during the Group B match.

Speaking ahead of Serbia’s Group C draw against Slovenia on Thursday, Jovan Surbatovic, Serbia FA general secretary said: “First of all, I want to thank our fans for their support in the match against England and I hope we will beat Slovenia.

“What happened is scandalous and we will ask UEFA for sanctions, even if it means not continuing the competition. If UEFA doesn’t punish them, we will think about how to proceed.”

UEFA has now released a statement saying they had launched “an investigation regarding potential racist and/or discriminatory conduct by supporters.”

Earlier in the week, Serbia themselves were charged by UEFA for the actions of their supporters during the game against England.

The charge was issued after complaints from the Kosovo Football Federation.

Serbia fans displayed a banner that “transmitted a provocative message unfit for a sports event” and threw objects onto the pitch.

Responding to that charge, Surbatovic 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.”

Ahead of their game against Slovenia on Thursday, a group of Serbian fans in Munich were heard chanting “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia.”

Serbia snatched a point in the dying moments of that game as they drew 1-1 to keep their hopes of qualification alive.

There has been a series of incidents amongst the fans that have threatened to overshadow this tournament.

On Tuesday, there were violent scenes inside BVB Stadion Dortmund as fans of Georgia and Turkey brawled before kick-off.