FIFA World Cup: Kosovo protests at Serbian flag display at Qatar WC

The Kosovo Sports Minister on Friday protested after photos showed the Serbia team hung a flag in their changing room at the World Cup reclaiming his country.

Serbia fan holds up Serbia’s flag during the match against Brazil.

Serbia fan holds up Serbia’s flag during the match against Brazil. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The Kosovo Sports Minister on Friday protested after photos showed the Serbia team hung a flag in their changing room at the World Cup reclaiming his country.

The Kosovo Sports Minister on Friday protested after photos showed the Serbia team hung a flag in their changing room at the World Cup reclaiming his country.

Hajrulla Ceku tweeted his anger at “disgraceful images from Serbia locker room, displaying hateful, xenophobic and genocidal messages towards Kosova, while exploiting FIFA World Cup platform”.

The photograph was taken in Serbia’s dressing room before they lost 2-0 to Brazil. It showed, hanging from two player lockers, a version of the Serbian flag with a map including Kosovo as part of the country and stamped with the slogan “there will be no surrender”.

“We expect concrete actions from FIFA considering that (Kosovo) is a full FIFA and UEFA member,” added Ceku.

Kosovo joined FIFA and European confederation UEFA in 2016.

The Kosovo Football Federation (FFK) announced that it had filed a complaint with FIFA against “Serbia’s aggressive action”.

“Such a chauvinist act has no place at sporting events and even less inside establishments where the biggest world football event is taking place,” said the FFK in a press release on their website.

“It is unacceptable that this act is passed over in silence and we insistently demand that FIFA strictly apply its rules and punish the Serbian Football Federation for this aggressive act contrary to the values that football transmits”, added the FFK.

The former Yugoslav province with an Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade refuses to recognize.

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