Serbia threatens Euro 2024 exit

The Serbian team drew with Slovenia Credit: UEFA Euro 2024 X

Serbia’s football authorities have issued an ultimatum to UEFA, announcing their potential withdrawal from Euro 2024 following offensive chants by Croatian and Albanian fans.

Offensive chants

The Serbian Football Association has demanded strict penalties against both national teams, citing deeply offensive chants reportedly directed at Serbia during the Albania-Croatia match in Hamburg on June 19.

In response, UEFA has appointed an inspector to investigate the allegations of racist and discriminatory conduct, but no timeline for resolution has been provided as reported by AP. This investigation announcement came just hours after Serbia’s match against Slovenia in Munich, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Jovan Surbatovic, the general secretary of the Serbia FA, expressed outrage over the incident, labelling it scandalous and insisting on sanctions against the federations involved.

Punishment demanded

“We will request UEFA to punish the federations of both teams. We don’t want to participate in that, but if UEFA doesn’t punish them, we will think about how to proceed,” Surbatovic declared.

The Serbia FA further condemned what they described as “shameful racist behaviour” and criticized UEFA for not suspending the match once the offensive chants began.

Tensions are now heightened as UEFA faces pressure to respond decisively to avoid a potential exit by Serbia from the ongoing championship.

The tournament regulations stipulate severe consequences for teams refusing to play, including loss of payments from UEFA and possible additional penalties.

Serbia risks losing substantial earnings, with a minimum prize fund of €9.25 million.

England could be affected

As Serbia is in the same group as England, should they decide to pull out of the competition, then it would impact on the other teams as according to UEFA rules, if a national team decides to pull out, “the results of all of its matches are declared null and void, and the points awarded forfeited.”

Time will tell what their final decision is as they are due to play again on Tuesday June 25 against Denmark.

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Written by

Talyta Franca

Talyta Franca, Class 2026, Northwestern University in Qatar.

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