Albania’s Daku gets two-game ban for anti-Serbia and North Macedonia chants

<span>Mirlind Daku used a megaphone to join supporters in nationalist chants.</span><span>Photograph: James Baylis/AMA/Getty Images</span>
Mirlind Daku used a megaphone to join supporters in nationalist chants.Photograph: James Baylis/AMA/Getty Images

The Albania striker Mirlind Daku has been banned for two matches after using a megaphone to join ­supporters in nationalist chants after Albania’s draw with Croatia. Albania have also received fines for three offences ­committed at that fixture and their opponents have been sanctioned on two separate counts.

Daku’s actions may prove costly to Albania’s prospects of making ­history this summer. He will miss their match against Spain on Monday, which they must win to reach a European Championship knockout phase for the first time. Should they prevail without him, he would also sit out their last‑16 tie. The Rubin Kazan player apologised for his actions on Friday but that was not enough to ­dissuade Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body from handing down a punishment.

The disciplinary body said Daku was suspended for “failing to comply with the general principles of conduct, for violating the basic rules of decent conduct, for using sports events for manifestations of a non‑sporting nature and for bringing the sport of football into disrepute”.


It was a reference to Daku shouting “fuck Serbia” and “fuck Macedonia” by the side of the pitch in Hamburg, where Albania had just claimed a late draw. Daku is Kosovan-born and the historic enmity with Serbia is well documented; the logic for chants against North Macedonia, whose football association complained to Uefa the following day, was less obvious.

On top of Daku’s ban, Albania were fined €2,500 for the lighting of fireworks by their fans, €20,000 for a supporter’s pitch invasion and €25,000 for “transmitting provo­cative messages not fit for a sports event”. Croatia were fined €10,500 for the throwing of fireworks and €17,500 for the lighting of fireworks.

A Uefa investigation into potential racist and discriminatory conduct by supporters at the same game remains ongoing. The Serbian football ­federation made a formal complaint about alleged hate ­chanting towards ­Serbia by both sets of fans. The federation’s general secretary, Jovan ­Surbatovic, briefly caused a storm by suggesting they could pull out of the tournament if Albania and Croatia went unpunished.