HomeSportsFIFA sues Serbia over Kosovo's anti-independence flag in spa

FIFA sues Serbia over Kosovo’s anti-independence flag in spa

FIFA has filed a lawsuit against the Football Federation of Serbia for having posted a map that located the independent territory of Kosovo as an integral part of the country in the team’s locker room before the game against Brazil. On the map with the “invasion” appeared, in Albanian, the phrase “do not surrender”: Belgrade never recognized the secession of Kosovo in 2008.

According to the AP, soccer’s governing body made the decision based on the article in its disciplinary code on misconduct, including “offensive gestures, signs or language” and “use of a sporting event for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature🇧🇷

Independent Kosovo has been recognized by around 100 countries, including the US, which retains strong influence over the Kosovar leadership, and most EU member states, with the exception of Spain, Romania, Greece, Slovakia and Cyprus. Serbia continues to consider Kosovo as an integral part of its territory and Belgrade has the support of Russia and China, which like dozens of other countries (including India, Brazil and South Africa) have not recognized Kosovo’s independence either.

After images of the flag next to the lockers of Milos Veljkovic and Andrija Zivkovic circulated on social media, Sports Minister Hajrulla Ceku accused Serbia of using the World Cup to promote “Hate, xenophobic and genocidal messages” – and the country filed a formal complaint with FIFA, an organization of which it has been a member since 2016.

Kosovo’s independence was proclaimed after a bloody war that began with an armed Albanian rebellion in 1997 that left 13,000 dead, mostly Albanians, and led to a NATO military intervention against Serbia in 1999, despite the UN. Since then, the region has registered sporadic conflicts between the two main local communities, in a country with a third of the surface of the Alentejo and about 1.7 million inhabitants, the great majority of ethnic Albanians and Muslims.

Source: Observadora

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