Albania's Daku gets two-game ban after leading fans' offensive chanting

football23 June 2024 05:04| © Reuters
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Mirlind Daku © Gallo Images

Albania forward Mirlind Daku was suspended for two games on Sunday for leading his team's fans in offensive chants about Serbia and North Macedonia at Euro 2024 that soccer governing body Uefa said violated the basic rules of decent conduct.

Daku apologised for joining in the chanting of slogans against the two countries with a megaphone following his side's 2-2 draw with Croatia on Wednesday in Hamburg.

Uefa said in a statement that it had banned Daku for "failing to comply with the general principles of conduct, for violating the basic rules of decent conduct, for using sports events for manifestations of a non-sporting nature and for bringing the sport of football into disrepute."

Uefa added that an investigation into potential racist and/or discriminatory conduct by fans at the match was ongoing.

Albania, who are third in Group B with one point and can still qualify for the last 16, play Spain, who are top on six points, on Monday in Duesseldorf.

Rows are proliferating at the tournament over insults relating to bitter rivalries in the Balkans region.

Serbia threatened to withdraw from the finals over chanting by Croatia and Albania fans in their teams' 2-2 draw.

Most of the controversies centre on Albanian-majority Kosovo, whose independence Serbia does not accept.

Kosovo-born Daku represented his homeland before switching to Albania in 2023.

Ethnic Albanians revolted in North Macedonia two decades ago.