Marko Arnautovic apologises to Ezgjan Alioski but denies being a racist after alleged slur whilst celebrating in the Euros at the weekend.
The former Stoke City and West Ham player denies being a racist after he made an offensive jibe when getting on the scoresheet to wrap up a 3-1 victory for Franco Foda’s side in a heated Group C clash in which players from both sides were involved in bust ups throughout.
Arnautovic allegedly made the comment following his late strike, saying ‘I’m f***ing your Albanian mother’ in the direction of current Premier League player Alioski, according to Koha.
— Jerrad Peters (@jerradpeters) June 14, 2021
The reason for what he said appears to relate to the Kosovo War, in which Serbia and Albania come into conflict over the Kosovo region. Arnautovic, whose father is Serbian, came to blows with Alioski, who can speak Albanian.
The same report suggests that Arnautovic made the slur in Serbian, believing that the Leeds United star would understand him.
Austria captain David Alaba was seen holding Arnautovic’s jaw to stop the striker from speaking anymore than he had done. Only when he stopped speaking to Alioski did the former Bayern Munich man release his grip.
Arnautovic has escaped a ban of £7,600 for the statement, with fans calling for UEFA to ban the feisty 32-year-old following the incident.
The Austrian has taken to social media to apologise for the ‘heated words exchanged’, however, he is insisting that he is not a racist and has ‘friends in almost every country’.
‘There were some heated words yesterday in the emotions of the game for which I would like to APOLOGIZE – especially to my friends from North Macedonia and Albania,’ he wrote.
‘I would like to say one thing very clearly: I AM NOT A RACIST! I have friends in almost every country and I stand for diversity. Everyone who knows me is aware of that.’
In 2018, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri were fined £7,600 each after the Swiss duo, who have Albanian links, celebrated by putting their hands together to form a double-headed eagle, similar to the one on the Albanian flag during a game against Serbia.
What the managers said…
Austria boss Franco Foda: “We deservedly won and congratulations to the lads, they wrote history today.
“Overall I’m very satisfied, we started well and deservedly scored the opener. We could have scored a second, but then we didn’t focus in one moment and conceded the equaliser. In the second half we talked about two or three things, to play faster and more on the wings. We were more agile and the substitutes showed their effect.
“The substitutes were important, which is why you have players on the bench. A team consists of 26 players. With Marko, in preparation he was injured, didn’t train that much and that’s why I decided to bring him on later.
“This last week he trained with us more, but I don’t know if we want to start him or play him for 60 or 70 minutes (in the next game against Holland). The players see it in a different way, but Marko is a key player in our team.”
North Macedonia boss Igor Angelovski: “I can’t not be proud of my players who qualified. We functioned well, there were moments where we had possession and control of the situation,” said
“The key was the second goal from Austria, but there is no room for disappointment. We have to improve ourselves in order not to repeat the mistakes we have done. The aim was to provide chances for Goran in attack and we knew we played against a national team who run a lot.
“I’m speechless about the atmosphere our supporters created. I hope we can reward them with a good result in the next match. We’ve two matches to go and will start to prepare ourselves for the next game against Ukraine.”
Fans reacted as Marko Arnautovic apologises for his slur to Ezgjan Alioski but denies being a racist…
@Macolot1: Apology is not enough! He should be suspended from football and both him and Austria get punished for that reaction!
@andrewclarke94: He’s an absolute moron.
@luke_lufc_wroe: Guess that makes it okay then, but when alioski takes the piss with a childish gesture thats not okay
@danieltiluk: “almost” isn’t the word to use there, Marko.
@ihatelufc: To be fair, Wayne Hennesey got off by saying he had no idea what the Nazi salute was, so this isn’t a mad defence.
@SJimmyv2: Arnautovic trash talking that cvnt Alioski love to see it
@IsMiseShane: Hahahahahahahahahaha Arnautovic giving it to Alioski, the most predictable fight of all time
@MartinHepplewhi: Alioski annoying someone, never!
@sam51h: UEFA talking no action. Staggering
@shoddyknight: Some of his friends are Albanian and say he’s not racist – where have we heard that before…
@wakeywhite: I see alioski is still boiling piss on the international stage.. 😂
@warsawwhite: Weird. Nobody is a racist after being caught being a racist
@JamesLUFC: Weird fella is Arnautovic isn’t he…
@LUFCTheo: Alioski being a shithouse 😍😍
@BarneyLUFC21: Haha Alioski our little shithouse #lufc
@KennyW_86: You knew it was going to be something along these lines he was saying 😬😬🤦🏻♂️
@andspiller: The old “I can’t be racist, I got a black friend” saying 🤦🏻
@knockoutkenny: Yeah racists always quick to point out how many ‘friends’ they have…
— Rhythm of Zat Knight 🟣 (@93rdmin) June 14, 2021
UEFA on a roll today. Arnautovic’s white power symbol https://t.co/0v45fGCxEA
— MUPPET FROM LEEDS (@gazLUFC4) June 14, 2021