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UEFA to investigate Arnautovic goal reaction against North Macedonia

UEFA to investigate Arnautovic goal reaction against North Macedonia
© Reuters
The frontman reacted angrily after scoring late in the game in Bucharest.

UEFA has appointed an ethics and disciplinary inspector to investigate Austria striker Marko Arnautovic's reaction to his goal against North Macedonia.

The former Stoke and West Ham frontman, who is currently playing his football in China with Shanghai Port, was restrained by skipper David Alaba as he gestured angrily after scoring late in Sunday's 3-1 Group C victory in Romania

A UEFA statement said: "In accordance with the Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, an Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct an investigation regarding the incident involving the player Marko Arnautović that occurred during the 2020 European Championship group-stage match between the national teams of Austria and North Macedonia on 13 June 2021.

"Further information on this matter will be made available in due course."

The incident came in the 89th minute of the game at the National Arena in Bucharest when, after beating North Macedonia keeper Stole Dimitrievski, Arnautovic, who is of Serbian heritage, appeared to make comments towards opposition players and then turned towards spectators.

Reports have alleged his initial remarks were aimed at defender Egzon Bejtulai and Gjanni Alioski, who both have Albanian roots.

Arnautovic later apologised for his outburst, but insisted he was not a racist.

In a post on his official Instagram account, he wrote: "There were some heated words yesterday in the emotions of the game for which I would like to apologise – especially to my friends from North Macedonia and Albania.

"I would like to say one thing very clearly: I am not a racist. I have friends in almost every country and I stand for diversity. Everyone who knows me is aware of that."

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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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