A week after Montenegro fans racially abused England players, a partial apology from the country has been delivered in person at Wembley Stadium.
Montenegro Football Association general secretary Momir Djurdjevac intervened from the floor of a UEFA conference on discrimination to offer his account of the incident in a European Championship qualifier that has left his country facing sanctions.
Djurdjevac reeled off a list of officials in the Podgorica stadium who he said didn’t hear the monkey chants decried by England players: The country’s president, prime minster, sports minister, and Olympic committee head. Djurdjevac highlighted how the referee didn’t stop the game and claimed the UEFA delegate didn’t hear the abuse.
But Djurdjevac stressed through a translator, “I’m not saying it didn’t occur. They were a handful of idiots and because of those three or four idiots, Montenegro has been pilloried.”
After being charged by UEFA for the abuse of Danny Rose, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Raheem Sterling, Montenegro is facing having part of its stadium closed for a game.
Djurdjevac said he “would like to apologize to all those who have gained a very bad impression” of Montenegro.
The “Equal Game” conference was opened by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin saying he was “ashamed” discriminatory incidents blight games every week.