Mirland Daku: Albanian footballer banned for inciting 'hate chants' at Euro 2024

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A footballer has been banned for two games after inciting hate chants at the Euros.

Albanian footballer Mirland Daku has been banned for two international games by UEFA after leading his nation’s fans into a chorus of nationalist hate chants after their 2-2 draw against Croatia in Group B of Euro 2024.

The chants, when translated, roughly read as: ‘f*** Macedonians and f*** Serbs!’ Serbia had previously threatened to quit the tournament in protest due to this, though it remains to be seen if they will follow through on their promise. Daku procured a megaphone and began to lead his fans - and Croatia’s - into a rendition of the chant.

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While Daku has been apologetic since the incident took place, he also defended his actions, saying it ‘difficult to describe’ playing for his country and that their motto is ‘Love Albania without borders’. Nevertheless, the Rubin Kazan striker asked for ‘forgiveness’ from anyone who he may have offended by leading the chants.

In an apology issued on social media, Daku wrote: “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 affect of the game takes its toll, I continue to work together with the whole group about our dreams.

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“Forgiveness is many, and I feel a moral and professional obligation to do so, for all those who have been hurt. Forgiveness is manly, and I feel a moral and professional obligation to do so, for all those who have been hurt.”