FIFA has launched an investigation after photographs of a Serbian nationalist flag hung up in the football team’s dressing room emerged on social media when they faced Brazil at the World Cup.
A photo from Serbia’s locker room was shared by Kosovo’s Minister of Culture and sports Hajrulla Çeku, expressing his anger for hanging a flag that has an outline of Kosovo under the Serbian national colours.
Serbia does not recognise Kosovo’s sovereignty.
Albanian-majority Kosovo claimed independence from Serbia in 2008 and is now a FIFA member.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Football Association of Serbia due to a flag displayed in their dressing room on the occasion of the Brazil v Serbia,” FIFA said in a statement on Saturday.
“The proceedings were opened on the basis of Article 11 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and Article 4 of the Regulations for the FIFA World Cup 2022.”
The Kosovo Football Federation (FKK) said it “strongly condemns Serbia’s aggressive actions” against Kosovo.
The flag with the inscription “We do not surrender” was also displayed by several Serbia fans in the stadium during the opening 2-0 World Cup defeat against Brazil in Qatar on Thursday.