FIFA cracks down on Uruguayans behaving badly and Serbia’s anti-Kosovan politics

December 6 – FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against both Uruguay and Serbia for a range of misdemeanours during their respective final group games at the World Cup which saw both countries eliminated.

Four Uruguay players have been charged with offensive behaviour for their angry pursuit of the referee after narrowly missing out on the last 16.

The Uruguayan FA also faces an extra charge of discrimination, FIFA said, without giving details.

The Uruguay team, along with most pundits, thought they should been awarded a penalty in stoppage time of the 2-0 win over Ghana. One more goal would have sent the South Americans through to the knockout stage at the expense of South Korea and the Uruguayan players went ballistic afterwards.

FIFA said Edinson Cavani, José María Giménez, Diego Godín and Fernando Muslera face disciplinary cases for “offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play” and misconduct.

Cavani, Godín and Muslera were each playing at their fourth World Cup and Giménez was at this third.

They were among a group of players who surrounded German referee Daniel Siebert after the final whistle after Uruguay went out on goals scored.

As Uruguay’s players reacted furiously, Cavani was filmed pushing over the pitchside monitor while Gimenez could face a long ban after allegedly calling the officials ‘sons of b******’ while appearing to elbow a FIFA official

FIFA have also brought disciplinary charges against Serbia for alleged misconduct by players and fans including offensive chants during the game against Switzerland.

Tensions flared in the stands and on the field in a rematch of their stormy encounter at the 2018 World Cup that revived ethnic Balkan rivalries.

Switzerland was captained by Granit Xhaka in Friday’s match, and Xherdan Shaqiri scored the opening goal in a 3-2 win that eliminated the Serbs.

Both have ethnic Albanian roots and family ties to Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia doesn’t recognise Kosovo’s sovereignty.

Anti-Kosovo chants were heard from the section of Serbia fans, who targeted Shaqiri with verbal abuse in the first half. Fans were told during the match to “stop all discriminatory chants and gestures”.

FIFA charged Serbia with ‘misconduct of players and officials,’ and discrimination although did not specify which incidents led to the charges.

Serbia were already under investigation by FIFA after the team hung a controversial flag in their dressing room before their defeat by Brazil earlier in the tournament.

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