Austria’s Marko Arnautovic became a national hero after scoring a game-sealing goal in a Euro 2020 win over North Macedonia. But a controversial goal celebration he made afterwards will keep him off the pitch in Austria’s next game.
On Wednesday, UEFA announced that Arnautovic has been handed a one-match ban, which he will serve in tomorrow’s game against the Netherlands. The ban stems from an angry-seeming goal celebration he made after scoring the third goal in a 3-1 win.
After slotting home the goal in the 89th minute, Arnautovic was seen yelling in a bizarre manner. Teammate David Alaba appeared to grab him by the mouth and talked to him in what may have been an effort to stop him.
Arnautovic was initially accused of making racist remarks at the North Macedonia fans. North Macedonia’s soccer governing body later said that the remarks were aimed at Ezgjan “Gjanni” Alioski.
Arnautovic has denied using any racist language but apologized for his actions.
Losing Marko Arnautovic could be a huge blow for Austria, who are making their third-ever Euro appearance. That win over North Macedonia was Austria’s first-ever in Euro, but they’ve never made it out of the Group Stage.
They’ll need all hands on deck against the Netherlands, who are the No. 16 team in the world and widely considered top contenders to win the tournament.
As emotional as this tournament can get, Arnautovic’s punishment should be a lesson to everyone in Euro to keep emotions in check.
Will losing Marko Arnautovic for the next game cost Austria a trip to the knockout round?