Euro 2020 news: Marko Arnautovic banned for Netherlands clash after Austria forward insulted opponent

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Marko Arnautovic will miss Austria’s Euro 2020 group game against the Netherlands after a UEFA panel found he had used insulting language towards an opponent in Sunday’s win over North Macedonia.

Shanghai Port forward Arnautovic, formerly of West Ham United and Inter Milan, was restrained by Austria captain David Alaba having scored his country’s third goal in a 3-1 victory. Those comments appeared to be aimed at Egzon Bejtulai and Gjanni Alioski, both of whom have Albanian roots.

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Arnautovic said in the aftermath that he was “not a racist” and apologised for “heated words”. UEFA found the 32-year-old had broken their misconduct regulations rather than those relating to discriminatory behavior.

Writing on Instagram after the match, Arnautovic said: “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.”

Historically there has been tension between Serbia, where Arnautovic’s father hails from, and neighbors including Albania and North Macedonia.

Both Austria and the Netherlands head into their match at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena having taken maximum points from their opening group game. Victory for either side would all but guarantee them a spot in the last 16 at Euro 2020.

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