Serbian volleyball player Sanja Djurdjevica was suspended for two matches following a racist gesture against the Thailand team on June 1. She had narrowed her eyes with her fingers. The Serbian Volleyball Federation, for its part, was fined.
Sanja Djurdjevic will not play Serbia’s next two games, against Belgium and Canada. The volleyball player was suspended for a racist gesture during a game against Thailand on June 1, in Italy. She was indeed seen squinting her eyes with her fingers.
Not a first for Serbian volleyball
The player has since apologized, including on Instagram, before suspending her account. The Serbian Volleyball Federation, for its part, issued an apology, citing an “unfortunate gesture” and saying it was “saddened by recent events”. She was fined just over 18,000 euros, which will be donated to “a cause fighting against discriminatory behavior and / or to fund educational programs on cultural sensitivity for the global volleyball family”, announced Tuesday the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB). A petition to condemn this act has also been launched on the Change.org platform.
This is not the first time that Serbian volleyball has been talked about on this subject. In 2017, the women’s team had already been singled out for making the same gesture, during a team photo. The snapshot was subsequently deleted by the International Federation.