In addition to the suspension, the independent body, which is responsible for imposing disciplinary sanctions within FIVB competitions, fined Serbia’s volleyball federation the equivalent of $22,000. According to the panel, the FIVB will donate the money to a cause dedicated to tackling discriminatory behavior and/or to fund educational programs on cultural sensitivity.
Posting on her since deactivated account, Djurdjevic apologized for her actions. “I am aware of my mistake and I immediately after the match apologized to the whole Thailand team.”
“I only wanted to address my teammates with the message: ‘Now, we will start playing defense like them,’ I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone,” she added.
“She didn’t mean any disrespect. Of course, it was unfortunate. It all ended up as a simple misunderstanding, in a friendly atmosphere between the players of the two teams,” continued the team statement.
“An apology is the bare minimum as a human being. But Djurdjevic and the National Volleyball Team represent their country in an official sport with official FIVB rules and those rules need to be upheld to maintain credibility and set the standard for the world,” the petition said.
A global reckoning
The FIVB confirmed that Djurdjevic’s sanction is “final,” adding that they are “committed to fostering understanding, solidarity and unity against all forms of discriminatory behavior.”
“The FIVB will continue to work tirelessly with all of its National Federations to ensure that these values are reflected across the whole community,” they added.