Serbian volleyball player Sanja Djurdjevic was suspended for two international matches after making a racist gesture during a game against Thailand.
The Serbian Volleyball Federation was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs (approximately $ 22,300) by the International Volleyball FederationDjurdjevic’s disciplinary committee stretched its eyelids in a slant-eyed gesture during a clash of the FIVB Women’s National Volleyball League.
Djurdjevic will miss his national team’s next games against Belgium and Canada.
The fine will be donated “to a cause dedicated to the fight against discriminatory behavior and / or to the financing of educational programs on cultural sensitivity for the worldwide family of volleyball”, the The FIVB said in a statement published online.
“The FIVB is committed to fostering understanding, solidarity and unity against all forms of discriminatory behavior,” added the organization. “The FIVB will continue to work tirelessly with all of its National Federations to ensure that these values are reflected throughout the community.”
Djurdjevic has since apologized for the offensive gesture, which she described as “unhappy and not so smart”.
“I am aware of my mistake and immediately after the game I apologized to the entire Thai team,” she wrote in a now deleted Instagram post. “I just wanted to address my teammates with the message, ‘now we’re going to start playing defense like them,’ I didn’t want to disrespect anyone.”
The incident comes four years after the Serbian team famous qualification for 2018 FIVB Women’s World Championship in Japan in an equally offensive way.
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