Serbian volleyball player cops two-match ban for racist gesture while playing Thailand

A Serbian volleyball player has copped a two-match ban after making a racist gesture during a recent game against Thailand.

Sanja Djurdjevic. Source: Volleyball Federation of Serbia.

Sanja Djurdjevic was caught during last week’s game narrowing her eyes with her fingers, sparking a furious response from online fans.

The 23-year-old was also fined $31,150 for the incident, with the fine to be donated to "a cause tackling discriminatory behaviour and/or to fund educational programmes on cultural sensitivity for the global volleyball family," the sport’s global governing body said yesterday.

Djurdjevic and the Volleyball Federation of Serbia apologised for the incident, which the federation described as an “unfortunate gesture”.

"We apologise sincerely to the Thailand team, people of Thailand and to all of you affected by this," the federation wrote on Facebook.

"Please don't blow this out of proportion! Sanja is aware of her mistake and she immediately apologised to the whole Thailand team.

“She only wanted to show her teammates 'let's start playing defence like them now', she didn't mean any disrespect. Of course, it was unfortunate."