Marko Arnautovic could be kicked out of Euro 2020 after UEFA launched an official investigation into his goal celebration against North Macedonia.
The Shanghai Port striker unleashed a volley of invective in the direction of North Macedonia defender Ezgjan Alioski having put his side 3-1 up in Bucharest.
Arnautovic apologised for his actions on Monday, and also posted on social media to deny using racist language towards the Leeds United player.
In a press conference on Monday, the 32-year old said, "There was a verbal argument on both sides.
"I have friends all over the world.
"I was happy and of course some words came my way that hurt me.
"It was an emotional argument. I can tell them that I feel sorry for all those who felt offended.
"I want us to forget what happened, such things have no place in football."
However, the North Macedonian football federation weren't pleased with Arnautovic's explanation, saying, "We have submitted an official letter to UEFA demanding the harshest punishment for Austrian representative Marko Arnautovic.
"As a 'House of Football' we are always against nationalism, discrimination and all other forms of insults and outbursts that are not in the spirit of football and values that we all stand together.
"We will always stand up and defend the interests and dignity of Macedonian national players wherever they perform."
On Tuesday, UEFA confirmed an investigation into the actions of Arnautovic, whose background is Serbian.
"In accordance with the Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, an Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct an investigation regarding the incident involving the player Marko Arnautovic that occurred during the 2020 European Championship group-stage match between the national teams of Austria and North Macedonia on 13 June 2021," it read.
“Further information on this matter will be made available in due course."
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