Albania-Serbia Soccer Brawl After Drone Carrying Albanian Flag Interrupts Game

From Business Insider:

In the 40th minute a pro-Albanian drone started hovering over the field. It was waving a flag showing a map of “Greater Albania,” according to The Guardian. The two countries have a long history, most notably in Kosovo — a region on the border with a large population of ethnic Albanians that was a part of Serbia before declaring independence 2008. After the drone appeared, referee Martin Atkinson halted the game.When Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic grabbed the flag and attempted to yank down the drone with it, all hell broke loose.He was confronted by Albania players, who retook the flag.Serbian fans rushed the pitch, including one who hit an Albanian player with a chair. The players fled to the locker room. The Albanians were pummeled and kicked as they went into the tunnel. After the game, Serbian officials told CNN that Olsi Rama, the brother of Albanian prime minister Edi Rama, was the one controlling the drone. He was arrested and set back to Albania, according to the officials. UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, has rules to keep countries with histories of violence and political strife from playing each other in tournaments with random draws. Gibraltar isn’t allowed to play Spain, for example.

Although Serbia and Albania do not have a good relationship with one another due to the ongoing dispute over Kosovo UEFA did not believe there was sufficient reason to prevent the two teams being in the same qualifying group and neither country expressed concern over the two teams being in the same qualifying group. For future reference they are probably better off erring on the side of caution but for now each respective football governing body of the two nations will face disciplinary action. It will be interesting to see how the next game is handled betweens these two nations since they are in the same qualifying group.


One thought on “Albania-Serbia Soccer Brawl After Drone Carrying Albanian Flag Interrupts Game”

  1. The UEFA decision on the match between Serbia and Albania is a perfect example of how “politics” impact football. A stupid referee like Martin Atkinson, decided to continue the mach, even after Albanian players were beaten inside the field from Serbian fans (and stewards) which invaded the pitch. Racist chorus “Kill the Albanians” which went on for 42 minutes until the game was interrupted did not disturb Mr.Atkinson at all.
    I wonder what more need to happens in a football field, in order for a match to be abandoned. Maybe Mr.Atkinson and UEFA need some players to be killed.


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