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Euro 2024: UEFA imposes fines on Albania and Serbia for nationalist fan banners

Frankfurt (Germany), June 20: UEFA has imposed 10,000 euros (USD10,700) fine on both the Albanian and Serbian football federations for the provocative display of nationalist maps during the ongoing European Championship matches. The controversy erupted when Albanian fans unveiled a banner depicting a map with Albania’s borders extending into the territories of neighbouring countries.

This incident occurred during Albania’s 2-1 defeat against Italy in Dortmund. Concurrently, Serbian supporters displayed a banner that included the disputed territory of Kosovo with the slogan “No Surrender” during their 1-0 loss to England in Gelsenkirchen. This echoes a similar case prosecuted by FIFA at the 2022 World Cup when Serbian players were photographed with a comparable banner before a match against Brazil. In addition to the 10,000-euro fines for transmitting provocative messages, UEFA also levied further penalties.

The Albanian federation received an additional 27,375 euros ($29,400) fine for various infractions including the lighting of flares and fireworks, the throwing of beer cups, and a fan invading the pitch. This highlights a broader trend of pitch invasions that have marred the first week of Euro 2024. The Serbian federation was fined an extra 4,500 euros ($4,800) for similar unruly behaviour, specifically for fans throwing beer cups. Moreover, UEFA has opened a separate investigation into allegations of discriminatory behaviour by Serbian fans, prompted by a formal complaint from the Kosovo football federation. These sanctions came just hours after Albania secured a dramatic 2-2 draw with Croatia in their second Group B game.

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