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NMacedonia wants Austria’s Arnautović punished for outburst

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The North Macedonian soccer federation has submitted a request to UEFA asking for Austria striker Marko Arnautović to be punished for a nationalist outburst after he scored a goal at the European Championship.

The federation said the outburst was directed at Ezgjan Alioski, who is of Albanian origin. Arnautović’s father is Serbian and his mother is Austrian.

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“We are always against nationalism, discrimination and all other forms of insults and outbursts that are not in the spirit of football and the values that we all stand for together,” the federation said in a statement released late Monday. “We will always stand up and defend the interests and dignity of the Macedonian national team wherever they play.”

Arnautović scored the final goal in Austria’s 3-1 victory over North Macedonia on Sunday at the National Arena in Bucharest.

He wrote in an Instagram story that he was sorry for what happened and acknowledged “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.”

“I would like to say one thing very clearly: I AM NOT A RACIST!” Arnautović wrote. “I have friends in almost every country and I stand for diversity.”

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The Albanian minority forms about a quarter of North Macedonia’s 2.1 million population.

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