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Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group C - Serbia v England - Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany - June 16, 2024 Serbia fans inside the stadium before the match

REUTERS/John Sibley

The beautiful game can sometimes be ugly

The European Championship, aka the Euros, has been underway for just one week, but it’s already turning political. Serbia wants UEFA, soccer’s European governing body, to whip out a red card for Croatia and Albania over allegations their fans shouted anti-Serbian slurs during a match on Wednesday.

“Kill, kill, kill the Serb,” the fans allegedly chanted. It’s fair to say that Serbia felt this was extremely offside — and the country is threatening to quit the competition if action isn’t taken.

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A metal figure of a soccer player with a ball is seen in front of the words "European Super League" and the UEFA Champions League logo.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

European soccer’s civil war

Early this week, it took barely 48 hours for a multibillion-dollar separatist movement in European football to collapse. Twelve of the continent's richest clubs formed the Super League, a breakaway pan-European tournament from the world's biggest annual sports competition: the UEFA Champions League. In response to furious backlash from fans, players, managers, other clubs and governments, the project has been put on hold. But the very contentious issues that prompted the split in the first place remain unresolved.

While the dust settles, let's examine why the Super League's founders are so at odds with everyone else with a stake in European soccer, including some divisions with political undertones.

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