Serbian volleyball federation fined for player’s racist gesture

Published June 9, 2021, 12:21 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Player also slapped with two-game ban
Serbia racist
In a screen grab, Serbian player Sanja Djurdjevic was caught making “slanty eyes” during their match against Thailand in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Nations League last week.

The FIVB Disciplinary Panel Sub-Committee slapped Serbian Sanja Djurdjevic with a two-game suspension following a racist gesture during the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Nations League in Rimini, Italy last week.

The committee, which is the dependent body competent to impose disciplinary sanctions within FIVB competitions, concluded that Djurdjevic violated the FIVB Disciplinary Regulations when she made “slanty eyes” after a play during their team’s match against Thailand last June 1.

Djurdjevic will serve her suspension during Serbia’s match against Belgium and Canada.

Aside from the suspension, the committee also fined the Volleyball Federation of Serbia with CHF 20,000 (around P1.06 million). The money will be donated to a cause dedicated to educational programs on cultural sensitivity within the global volleyball community.

Prior to the sanctions, the Volleyball Federation of Serbia has already issued a public apology on its Facebook page but clarified that “it all ended up as a simple misunderstanding.”

“We apologize sincerely to the Thailand team, people of Thailand and to all of you affected by this,” the statement read.

“But, please, don’t blow this out of proportion! Sanja is aware of her mistake and she immediately apologized to the whole Thailand team.”

Video of Sanja Djurdjevic making “slanty eyes” after a play went viral online and drew flak from volleyball fans.