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Serbia dismisses criticism of its team over map incident at FIFA WC

Serbia dismisses criticism of its team over map incident at FIFA WC

Belgrade, Nov 27 (UNI) Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has described as "hypocrisy" criticism dished out against the national football team for using a map that showed Kosovo as part of Serbia to decorate the locker room during a match with Brazil at the 2022 World Cup.
On Saturday, the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo filed a complaint with FIFA demanding that the Serbian team be punished for hanging a canvas with the map of Serbia, which included what Kosovo considers its territory.
Under Serbia's constitution, however, the province of Kosovo and Metohija is considered an integral part of the country and, as such, is depicted within the country on all state symbols.
The Serbian national team has declined to comment on the situation. FIFA also has not provided any official comment yet.
"We cannot react as a state, since these are sports organizations. But this shows how great the hypocrisy is," Dacic told Serbian media.
The minister added that he knew nothing about possible consequences of the complaint, but suggested that it might be a fine.
The incident took place amid the recent increase in tensions around Kosovo.
Last Wednesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Belgrade and Pristina had reached an agreement on the issue of license plates.
Serbia agreed to stop issuing license plates markings indicating villages in Kosovo and Metohija, while the Kosovo-Albanian authorities pledged to cease further actions related to re-registration of vehicles.
The long-running dispute over vehicle plates erupted after Kosovo's authorities had required that local Serbs re-register their car plates and feature the EU-standard letter code RKS (Republic of Kosovo) instead of KM (Kosovska Mitrovica), the Serbian identifier.
The deadline for re-registration was October 31.
Issuing fines for Serbian plates was supposed to start on November 21, but was postponed to the morning of November 22 during negotiations in Brussels.
On Wednesday, over 5,000 Kosovo Serbs held protests against the introduction of fines.
UNI SPUTNIK BDN GNK

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