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Albania national football team
European Championship | Group Stage
Jun 24, 2024 at 8pm UK
Merkur Spiel-Arena
Spain national football team

Albania
0 - 1
Spain


Bajrami (66'), Berisha (89')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Torres (13')
Vivian (90')

UEFA confirm Albania forward handed Euro 2024 ban for leading 'nationalist' chants

Albania forward to miss Spain Euro 2024 clash after receiving UEFA ban
© Imago
An Albania forward is handed a two-match Euro 2024 ban by UEFA for leading his country's fans in derogatory chants after a 2-2 draw with Croatia last Wednesday.

Albania forward Mirlind Daku has been banned for two Euro 2024 games by UEFA for leading his country's fans in derogatory chants after a 2-2 draw with Croatia last Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Rubin Kazan forward came on as a late substitute shortly before teammate Klaus Gjasula scored a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser to rescue a precious point at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.

After the full-time whistle, Daku was seen using a megaphone to join Albanian supporters in nationalist chants, leading fans in a chorus of "f*** Macedonia and f*** Serbs".

Supporters were also heard yelling "Kill, kill, kill the Serb", and UEFA have since confirmed that the Albanian Football Federation (FSHF) and Daku have been punished.

A statement from European football's governing body read: "Daku will be banned for a total of two UEFA representative team competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible.

"[Daku] failed to comply with the general principles of conduct, violated the basic rules of decent conduct, used sports events for manifestations of a non-sporting nature and brought the sport of football into disrepute."

Albania's Mirlind Daku reacts on June 19, 2024 [IMAGO]© Imago

Albania, Daku punished by UEFA amid Serbia threat

UEFA have ordered the FSHF to pay a €25,000 (£21,250) fine for "transmitting provocative messages not fit for a sports event" as well as an additional €22,500 (£19,000) fine for pitch invasions and the lighting of fireworks by supporters.

The news comes after Serbia threatened to quit Euro 2024 unless UEFA punished both Albania and Croatia, whose fans have also been accused of joining in with the abuse.

UEFA have fined the Croatian Football Federation €28,000 (£23,600) for the throwing and lighting of fireworks, and have confirmed that its investigation into "potential racist and/or discriminatory conducts by supporters in this match is ongoing".

Daku, a six-cap Albania international, has since issued an apology for his actions following a demand from North Macedonia's football federation.

"Apologising is manly, and I feel a moral and professional obligation to do so, for all those who have been hurt," a statement from Daku read.

"Like any footballer, in those moments the emotions are on another level, which can only be understood on the field. It is difficult to describe the feeling of playing for this national team, for these wonderful fans who give us unlimited love."

Albania's Amir Abrashi and Mirlind Daku celebrate after the match on June 19, 2024 [IMAGO]© Imago

Daku responds to UEFA punishment

In a separate post on Instagram Daku said: "First, I want to be grateful to all those who have supported us in the good and difficult moments at Euro 2024.

"Like any footballer, in those moments the emotions are on another level, where only inside the field can be understood, it is difficult to describe the feeling of playing for this national team, for these wonderful fans who give us unlimited love, as it is and our motto 'Love Albania without borders.

"Feeling if I offended someone after the match with Croatia, the effect of the game takes its toll, I continue to work together with the whole group about our dreams. Forgiveness is many, and I feel a moral and professional obligation to do so, for all those who have been hurt."

Daku switched allegiances to Albania in June last year after playing five times for the country of his birth Kosovo, the ethnic-Albanian former province of Serbia that declared independence in 2008.

The forward will miss Albania's decisive Group B clash against Spain in Dusseldorf on Monday and will also be suspended for their last-16 match should Sylvinho's side advance from the group stage.

Albania have picked up just one point from their opening two group games, along with Croatia, and they realistically need to beat Spain, who have already punched their ticket to the last 16, if they wish to secure a top-two finish in Group B or qualify for the knockout rounds as one of the four best third-placed teams.

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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121


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