Marko Arnautovic banned for one match for ‘insulting’ North Macedonia players

Austria striker has apologised for outburst after goal and insisted he isn’t a racist

Marko Arnautovic has been banned for Austria’s game against Holland. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Marko Arnautovic has been banned for Austria’s game against Holland. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

 

Austria striker Marko Arnautovic has been suspended for his side’s Euro 2020 match against Holland after being found guilty of insulting another player in his side’s opening win over North Macedonia.

The former Stoke and West Ham forward, who now plays in China for Shanghai Port, had to be restrained by team-mate David Alaba after scoring in the 89th minute.

Arnautovic, who is of Serbian heritage, appeared to make comments towards opposition players and then turned towards spectators.

Reports alleged his initial remarks were aimed at defender Egzon Bejtulai and Ezgjan Alioski, who both have Albanian roots.

Arnautovic later apologised for his outburst, but insisted he was not a racist.

Uefa appointed an ethics and disciplinary investigator on Tuesday and confirmed on Wednesday the issuing of a one-match ban.

The tournament organisers said in a statement that its appeals body had decided to “suspend Austrian Football Association player, Marko Arnautovic, for the next (1) UEFA representative team competition match for which he would be otherwise eligible, for insulting another player”.

Arnautovic wrote on Instagram after the incident: “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. I have friends in almost every country and I stand for diversity. Everyone who knows me is aware of that.”

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