Austria’s Arnautovic banned for one game after insulting rival

Vienna, Jun 16 (EFE).- Austria forward Marko Arnautovic has been handed a one-match ban for insulting a rival player after scoring a goal against North Macedonia in the Euro 2020 Group C fixture at the weekend.

Arnautovic, who has Serbian ancestry, apologized on social media for his exchange with Ezgjan Alioski during Sunday’s game but denied using a racist slur against the Leeds United player, who is Macedonian of Albanian heritage.

Following an investigation, Uefa on Wednesday issued a one game ban for “insulting another player.”

It means the Austrian forward will miss the team’s crucial fixture with the Netherlands on Thursday.

Arnautovic, 32, reportedly directed a sexist and racist insult towards Alioski after scoring in Austria’s 3-1 win on Sunday.

After the game, he said 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.

“I would like to say one thing very clearly: I am not a racist.”

He said he would make a donation to an integration project in the Balkans, where ethnic tensions are commonplace.

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Switzerland players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, both of Kosovo Albanian origin, caused a stir in Belgrade when they celebrated goals against Serbia with nationalist gestures mimicking the Albanian eagle.

Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo’s independence.EFE

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