Qatar 2022, Fifa opens investigation into flag of discord Serbia

Fifa opens an investigation against Serbia over the case of the Kosovo flag being painted with the colors of the Serbian flag in the dressing room of the Serbian team. This is an affair that risks rekindling the age-old dispute between Serbia and Kosovo.

Albanian-majority Kosovo claimed independence from Serbia in 2008 and is now a member of FIFA, but Serbia does not recognize its sovereignty. “The Kosovar Football Federation strongly condemns Serbia’s aggressive actions against the Republic of Kosovo at the 2022 World Cup,” the federation said in a tweet. “The World Cup is an event of joy and unity, it should send messages of hope and peace, not messages of hate. We call on FIFA to take measures against such actions.”

The flag with the words “Never give up” was also displayed by several Serbian fans in the stadium during the match against Brazil 2-0 at the 2022 World Cup. The photo of the discord was allegedly taken in the dressing room before the match with Brazil. No players are visible in the frame, but the flag hangs above the shirts and lockers of defender Milos Veljkovic and midfielder Andrija Zivkovic. A spokesman for Werder Bremen where Veljkovic plays explains that the player only discovered the photo after the match. When the Serbian players returned to the dressing room, the spokesman claims, there would have been no flag hanging there.