July 17, 2024

Double eagle for Serbia fans: Kosovo journalist excluded from the European Championship

Double eagle for Serbia fans: Kosovo journalist excluded from the European Championship

Do you still remember the 2018 World Cup in Russia and Switzerland’s group stage match against Serbia? At the time, Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Stefan Lichtsteiner celebrated the Albanian Eagle’s double after Shaqiri scored 2-1 in the 90th minute. A reaction to hours of provocations and whistles from Serbian fans.

It now looks as if the 2024 European Championships will also have a double eagle affair, despite Switzerland not participating this year. Kosovan journalist Arlind Sidiko was also present on the field in the opening match of the Serbian championship against England (0-1). When he was reported to be standing in front of the Serbian fans, he allowed himself to be drawn into this double eagle gesture.

While Kosovo’s football circles appreciated the measure, UEFA appears to have shown less joy about it. According to reports, the organizers withdrew Siddiqo’s media accreditation and prevented him from participating in the tournament as a journalist.

Sadiqo commented on the incident on Facebook. “Celebrating with the eagle is not a crime,” he writes. I did not offend or provoke anyone. I am just proud of the symbol that represents us.” He describes his exclusion from the tournament as a “dangerous precedent.”

During the match against England, Serbian fans again caused provocations. They took flags to the stadium that identified Kosovo and other Balkan regions as part of Serbia and set fire to Albanian flags in front of the stadium. The Kosovo Football Federation has filed a formal complaint with UEFA over “political, chauvinistic and racist messages” from Serbian fans.

The day after the match, UEFA also opened an investigation into Serbia. But it was about alleged racist insults against an English player. The outcome of this investigation is still pending. The Confederation has now announced that Serbia is also under investigation for other actions during the same match. An investigation was also opened against the Albanian Federation after fireworks and political banners were launched during the match against Italy.

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Meanwhile, Arlend Siddiku announced that he will be watching the match between Croatia and Albania (click here for the match report) from the spectator stands. (Abu)

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Source: Keystone/Peter Gosek

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