Serbia threaten to quit Euro 2024 hours before Slovenia match over ‘kill the Serb’ chants

Aleksandar Mitrovic training with Serbia
Serbia have demanded Uefa take action over chants - AFP/Miguel Medina

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Serbia have threatened to quit Euro 2024 after accusing Croatia and Albania fans of chanting “Kill, kill, kill the Serb” during the latter countries’ match in Hamburg on Wednesday.

The general secretary of the Football Association of Serbia (FSS), Jovan Surbatovic, told his nation’s state broadcaster, RTS, the team would refuse to remain at the tournament unless the Croatian and Albanian FAs were punished.

Surbatovic issued his threat amid an ongoing investigation by Uefa into allegations England players were subjected to monkey-chants during their opening 1-0 win over Serbia.

He also spoke after the FSS was fined more than £12,000 for the display of an ultra-nationalist banner proclaiming Serbian dominion over Kosovo by their fans during Sunday night’s game and the throwing of objects.

“First of all, I want to thank our fans for their support in the match against England and I hope we will beat Slovenia,” he said, before turning to the alleged chants during Wednesday’s Croatia-Albania game.

“What happened is scandalous and we will ask Uefa for sanctions, even if it means not continuing the competition.

“We will demand from Uefa to punish the federations of both selections. We do not want to participate in that, but if Uefa does not punish them, we will think how will we proceed.

“We were punished for isolated cases and our fans behaved much better than the others.”

In an apparent reference to the illicit banner, he added: “One fan was punished for racist insults and we don’t want it to be attributed to others.

“We Serbs are gentlemen and we have an open heart, so I appeal to the fans to remain gentlemen.”

The build-up to England’s game against Serbia was also marred by fan clashes compounded by the presence in Gelsenkirchen of Albania supporters. Matches between Albania and Serbia have a history of major crowd disorder.

Uefa has already barred a Kosovan journalist from the remainder of Euro 2024 after he aimed an Albanian “eagle” sign towards Serbia fans during a live broadcast at their match against England.

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