The match between Macedonia and Austria at the European Championship included several heated moments, but none like the incident at the end when Austrian player Marko Arnautovic shouted at Macedonia’s Ezgjan Alioski.
Arnautovic, who came as a substitute to score Austria’s third goal in the 3:1 win, apparently used expletives at Alioski and had to be restrained by Alaba. Many believe that Arnautovic was also using ethnically charged terms at Alioski, with whom he has a running feud.
Arnautovic is an ethnic Serb, while Alioski is an Albanian. It’s possible that the slurs used were along ethnic lines. Arnautovic also made the “ok sign”, which is increasingly seen as a racist symbol in the West, while in the Balkans it has various other, insulting connotations, but a version of which is sometimes also used as a Serbian nationalist symbol.