Serbia, Albania punished over drone incident

Serbia have been awarded a 3-0 walkover against Albania after their Euro 2016 qualifier in Belgrade was abandoned, Uefa has confirmed, the BBC reported. 

But they have also had three points deducted after the game on 14 October was disrupted when a drone flew over the stadium with a political message.

The drone carried a pro-Albania flag. Crowd disturbance and a brawl between players followed at Partizan stadium. Serbia must also play two home qualifying games behind closed doors.

Both the Serbian and Albanian FAs have been fined 100,000 euros. The decisions of Uefa’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) are open to appeal.

News agency AFP reported that Albania will appeal against their punishment. Serbia will have to play their Group I Euro 2016 qualifiers against Denmark and Armenia in an empty stadium.

The match between the Balkan sides earlier this month, at which no away fans were permitted, was interrupted late in the first half when a flag depicting a notional ‘Greater Albania’, was flown over the terraces and pitch by what appeared to be a remote-controlled drone.

Serbia’s Stefan Mitrovic grabbed the flag, prompting an angry reaction from Albanian players.

A brawl between the players followed after several Albanian players snatched the flag from Mitrovic and they then had to run into the tunnel for cover as some home fans invaded the pitch and attacked them.

Premier League referee Martin Atkinson suspended play in the 41st minute with the score at 0-0 and Uefa confirmed the match had been abandoned after a delay of about 30 minutes.

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