Drone carrying Albanian flag ends Serbia-Albania Euro 2016 qualifier

0:56 | Planet Futbol
Albania-Serbia Euro 2016 qualifier called off after drone flies Albanian flag over stadium
Tuesday October 14th, 2014

The Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania in Belgrade on Tuesday was ended by a drone carrying an Albanian flag over the field.

According to ESPNFC's Nick Ames, who was at the match, play was halted after the 34th minute when the drone began flying over the stadium, inciting a reaction from the crowd.

Serbia's Stefan Mitrovic ran over and grabbed the flag after it had dropped onto the field, leading to fighting among players and officials. Both teams then ran off the field as fans threw objects at the Albanian players, according to Ames. Play was stopped as police surrounded the field, and eventually it was announced the match would not resume.

according to ESPNFC.com.

The countries and peoples have shared a long, contentious history in the Balkan region and have often come into armed conflict, most recently in the 1990s over the region of Kosovo. Previously a part of Serbia, the region became an independent state in 2008.

Albanians claim to have a majority in Kosovo, and both sides continue to disagree over the country's allegiances.

In advance of Tuesday's match, UEFA advised Albania not to bring supporters in order to prevent conflict. Serbia had angered Albania by mandating that fans provide their name, passport number and address in order to receive one of the 2,000 tickets the former was allotting.

In Euro 2016 qualifying so far, Albania has defeated Portgual and drawn with Denmark, while Serbia has drawn with Armenia.

Ben Estes

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