The game between Serbia and Albania had to be abandoned last night when the teams started brawling over an Albanian flag. In any other country a drone flying a flag would be entertaining, but not in Serbia. Where they turned into mad men at the site of the oppositions flag.
There were no opposition supporters at the stadium, due to the hatred the Serbs have for Albanians. So with no supporters to attack, they turned on the Albanian players.
Why on earth they had these two teams in the same group in the first place, was just asking for trouble.
Albania had entered the pitch to a predictable chorus of howls, whistles and things far less edifying – “Kill, kill the Albanian” and “Fuck, fuck Albania” were the soundtrack to the opening stages and a command-and-response routine of “Kosovo!” “Serbia!” between the east and west stands occupied much of the warm-up.
The supporters burned the NATO flag at last nights game, as Albanian flags were banned from the stadium. This is a stab at Kosovo, not Albania and any country they play, which recognises Kosovo will get the same treatment from the Serbs. This is bad enough, so can you imagine what would happen if Serbia ever gets matched up against the USA.
The Mayor of Prishtina, Shpend Ahmeti put out the following statement this morning:
Having read the news about the events of last night and seeing the statements of government officials in Serbia today in the morning, I must say a few words.
1. Fans Albanians were not allowed into the Partizan Stadium in Belgrade.
2. It was stated that anyone who will waive the Albanian national symbols will be arrested in Belgrade
3. The stadium was filled with political messages, not only with national flags Serbian officials, ie on all sides was written “Kosovo is Serbia” and other slogans also dealing with Bosnia and Croatia
4. Throughout chanted “Ubij Ubij Shiptar” – “Away, Away Albanian”
5. Despite all provocations, our national team played football, even better for those minutes that they were allowed.
6. In the field, the locker room tunnel was physically attacked by all, even by stadium workers.
After all these blames Dacic calls Albanians and Serbian fans restrained. Minister of Sports in Serbia gives even scandalous statements. Serbian media comments which have received the most positive clicks, are filled with hatred towards them.
This shows that the Serbian government but more importantly, a large part of Serbian society has no moving from their positions against Albanians expressed in different ways many decades.
I do not feel any hatred towards Serbs and the Serbian people. Our willingness as Albanians, good neighborly relations have shown normal now many times, even here have excessive. This is our willingness misuse of too much too often.
This alert should have, but never and should never accept that tramples upon our dignity from the fascist and racist Regional They leave people in the Balkans without a fight.
This refusal to testify yesterday subordination of us national. For this makes us proud. I take this opportunity to publicly on behalf of the Municipality of Prishtina invite you to come in Pristina as fast. Many people would enjoy.
While taking this opportunity to urge you Albanian politicians rationally and without emotion to be at the level of duty to have. The national team has provided an ideal case that foreign policy be ONE. To speak with one voice, that insults, threats such provocations will not be allowed.
Finally, as the Prime Minister has said in the meeting Rama, I say again, and now I’m even more convinced of this – Do not go to Belgrade.
There, you will not be welcome, and Belgrade has not given any signal that is improving the position against Albanians, no matter whom it makes the West obligations.
Serbia’s football reputation
2012 – Serbia v England under 21s.
It was almost 2 years to the day that Serbia played against England in the under 21s which also ended with a fight on the field. The English team had to endure racial attacks throughout the team from the racist Serbs.
- England player Danny Rose subjected to monkey chants after sending off
- Brawl erupted among players and coaches with fans storming the pitch
- England coach Martin Thomas headbutted by Serbian counterpart
- FA has reported ‘a number of incidents of racism’ to UEFA
- Former England Star Paul Ince said Serbia should be banned for 10 years
- Senior side’s match against Poland postponed until tomorrow due to bad weather
Former England star Paul Ince, working as a pundit on ESPN, has called for Serbia to be banned from tournament football for 10 years.
He said: ‘As soon as the players were in the tunnel apparently there were issues. The Serbian conditioning coach was apparently jostling and getting his face in England players’ faces.
The only punishment was that the next game was played behind closed doors, but Serbia has still not learnt from their paltry punishment and should be banned this time. It seems like Serbia finds it impossible to play football without the game ending in a fight.
2011 – Serbia v Italy
In 2011 Serbian hooligans were implicated in ugly riots at the Euro 2012 qualifier against Italy in Genoa, where the match was abandoned after only seven minutes when fans threw flares onto the pitch.
Inside the stadium the kick-off had to be delayed by nearly 40 minutes after a group of Serbia fans threw objects on to the pitch and attempted to break down barriers between them and the pitch. They also unfurled a banner reading “Kosovo is Serbia”.
“The whole of Europe saw the disgrace and shame brought upon Serbia by fans who have kept us under siege in our hotel for two days,” the president of the visitors’ governing body, Tomislav Karadzic, said after the match had been abandoned.
“We had information these fans would come here with the intention to force the game to be abandoned and we notified the Italian authorities. It’s up to the Serbian government now to launch a swift investigation and establish who recruited these young men to come here and riot because this is an act of aggression which goes beyond football.”
Three years on and nothing has changed, it doesn’t matter what team Serbia plays, there is always the same outcome. They settled down in 2013 after the scare of being banned following the England game, but now their true colours are coming through once again. There is no controlling the team, or their supporters.