'Disgraceful': Kosovo sports minister protests Serbia changing room flag

Kosovo has protested at Serbian flag display at World Cup. (Hajrulla Çeku/Twitter)
Kosovo has protested at Serbian flag display at World Cup. (Hajrulla Çeku/Twitter)

Kosovo's sports minister has called on Fifa to take action over a controversial picture which emerged on social media from inside the Serbian changing room at the Qatar World Cup.

The photo showed the Kosovo flag hanging on the players’ lockers, with a map of Serbia superimposed within it.

The flag was stamped with the slogan, “There will be no surrender" while it had reportedly been spotted in the crowd when Serbia played Brazil, the latter prevailing 2-0 in their opening group game in Qatar.

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Hajrulla Ceku, Kosovo’s sports minister, said they expect ‘concrete actions’ from the world governing body, given that Kosovo is a full Fifa and UEFA member since 2016.

Ceku tweeted: “Disgraceful images from Serbia locker room, displaying hateful, xenophobic and genocidal messages towards Kosova, while exploiting Fifa World Cup platform.”

Serbia supporters cheer on the stands while waiting for the start of the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Serbia, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Serbia supporters cheer on the stands while waiting for the start of the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Serbia. (AP)

The Kosovo Football Federation (FFK) said that it had filed a complaint to Fifa against “Serbia’s aggressive action”.

A statement added: “Such a chauvinist act has no place at sporting events and even less inside establishments where the biggest world football event is taking place.

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“It is unacceptable that this act is passed over in silence and we insistently demand that Fifa strictly apply its rules and punish the Serbian Football Federation for this aggressive act contrary to the values that football transmits.”

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The former Yugoslav province declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade refuses to recognise.

This week, Serbia and Kosovo chiefs reached an agreement to end their row over car licence plates.

Kosovo had planned to start fining thousands of motorists who currently have Serb-issued licence plates.

Watch: Brazil fans rejoice after beating Serbia at World Cup