UEFA probes Serbia FA over fans’ unruly behaviour

UEFA said Monday it had opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) over alleged inappropriate behaviour by its fans after the country’s Euro 2024 match against England.

Charges against the FSS include “throwing of objects” and “transmitting a provocative message unfit for a sports event”, the European football body said in a statement.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) will decide on the matter in due course, it added.

Meanwhile, Kosovo and Serbia filed complaints against each other with UEFA over the same match.

Serbia said a Kosovo journalist allegedly made an Albanian nationalist sign while the Kosovo Football Federation (FFK) complained over what it called “racist messages” from Serbia fans.

Serbia fans displayed “flags, slogans and chants… with political, chauvinistic and racist messages against Kosovo”, an FFK statement said.

“The unhindered display of such messages… at a big event like Euro 2024 is senseless and absurd,” it said and called for strict disciplinary measures against its Serbian peer, labelling it a “repeat offender”.

Both Kosovo and Serbia said that the incidents occurred before and during the Euro 2024 match between Serbia and England on Sunday, which England won 1-0.

Ties between the two Balkan neighbours are very tense and tensions often spill over into the sporting world.

A decade after the war between Kosovo independence-seeking ethnic Albanian rebels and Serbian forces — that killed around 13,000 people, mostly ethnic Albanians — Pristina declared independence from Belgrade in 2008.

Serbia still does not recognise the move that was accepted by around 100 countries.

Despite Serbia’s lobbying against its admittance, Kosovo became a full-fledged member of UEFA and FIFA in 2016.

Kosovo failed to qualify for Euro 2024.