A Serbian volleyball player has been suspended for two matches after making a racist gesture during a match against Thailand last week.
On camera footage, Sanja Djurdjevic drew her eyes together with her fingers during the match in the Italian city of Rimini. Social media responded indignantly to this.
The player dismisses the incident as a “simple misunderstanding”. She tried to make her teammates clear to defend the same way as their Thai opponents.
“ Please do not blow this up”, writes the Serbian Volleyball Federation in a statement on Facebook. “We offer our sincere apologies to the Thai team and the people in Thailand.” On Instagram, one of the Thai players responded that she accepts the apology.
Djurdjevic will not compete in the upcoming matches against Belgium and Canada. The Serbian Volleyball Federation also has to pay a fine of more than 18,000 euros.
The international volleyball federation FIVB says that it is committed to fighting racism and discrimination in sport. A petition for more sanctions against Djurdjevic has now been signed several thousand times.
In 2017, the Serbian volleyball team also came into play because of racism. At the end of a competition, the entire team was photographed in this way.