FIFA investigating Serbia for ‘hateful’ Kosovo flag in dressing room
Soccer’s governing body said on Saturday that FIFA had opened proceedings against Serbia’s Football Association after a flag depicting Kosovo as part of their country was allegedly hung in a dressing room. When they were facing Brazil in the World Cup.
A photo of a flag in Serbia with the message “We do not surrender” went viral on social media when it was shared by Kosovo’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hajrula Seko.
“Hateful images from the Serbian locker room, showing hateful, inhumane and genocidal messages against Kosovo while exploiting the FIFA World Cup platform,” Seko said on Twitter.
“We expect concrete steps from FIFA considering that the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) is a full member of FIFA and UEFA.”
Kosovo became a member of UEFA and FIFA in 2016, eight years after the country declared independence from Serbia, which opposed the move.
“FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has initiated proceedings against the Football Association of Serbia for displaying the flag in its dressing room on the eve of Brazil v Serbia,” it said in a statement.
“Proceedings were initiated on the basis of Article 11 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and Article 4 of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Regulations.”
FFK said it strongly condemned the “aggressive action” against the country.
“The World Cup is an event of joy and unity and should send messages of hope and peace, not hate. We call on FIFA to take action against such actions.”
Serbia, who lost 2-0 to Brazil, next face Cameroon on Monday. His Football Federation (FSS) did not respond for comment.