Serbia hit with UEFA charges and investigation for fan misconduct and discrimination at Euro 2024

serbia hit with uefa charges and investigation for fan misconduct and discrimination at euro 2024

Serbia fans cheer during a Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — UEFA filed one disciplinary charge and opened a separate investigation into alleged discrimination by Serbia fans at the European Championship game against England.

The details were not specified by UEFA on Monday but followed a formal complaint by the soccer federation of Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 that its neighbor has never recognized.

UEFA’s disciplinary panel will consider a charge against Serbia of its fans “transmitting a provocative message unfit for a sports event” and throwing objects during England’s 1-0 win on Sunday at Gelsenkirchen.

Serbia fans displayed a national flag which included in its borders the territory of Kosovo, its former republic.

Kosovan soccer officials alerted UEFA to flags, chants and banners which they said contained “political, chauvinistic and racist messages” against their country.

The charges should be judged before Thursday, when Serbia plays its second Euro 2024 game against Slovenia in Munich. A fine would typically be imposed in such cases with stricter measures potentially imposed in a future competition.

UEFA gave no timeline for the investigation into alleged discriminatory behavior.

Serbia fans clashed with England fans in the city before the late evening game, but the strict liability federations have under UEFA rules for incidents at stadiums does not always include violent incidents elsewhere.

UEFA has sanctioned Serbia several times in recent seasons for fan misconduct and discrimination, including limiting ticket sales or ordering the team to play in an empty stadium.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

The Associated Press

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