We could all see that something wasn’t quite right with Marko Arnautovic’s celebration against North Macedonia earlier in the week, but initially it just looked like he was angry for being left on the bench or something fairly trivial.
In hindsight you could tell something wasn’t right when David Alaba started to put his hand over his mouth to shut him up, and there are some pretty serious allegations that have come to light.
The Guardian has reported that the Austrian striker has apologised for what he called “heated words”, but there are allegations of racism here and he now faces a ban for the entire tournament if that’s proved:
UEFA appoints disciplinary inspector to investigate Marko Arnautovic outburst – could face ban for rest of tournament if racist language proved.
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) June 15, 2021
It seems his words refer to things he said about a couple of North Macedonian players due to them having Albanian roots, while the striker has played the classic card of saying he can’t be racist because he has friends from lots of different countries.
The Guardian report confirms that North Macedonia want the harshest possible punishment, but it’s going to be interesting to see what actually happens here if racist language is proven.
There’s been so much talk about the best way of the players sending a message to show they are against racism, but now it’s time for UEFA to hold up their side of the bargain, providing that he’s found guilty of course.