NYON: European federation UEFA appears to have come to a ‘Judgment of Solomon’ over the abandoned Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania in Belgrade last week writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The match was halted by English referee Martin Atkinson after fighting among players and fans after a drone, bearing an Albanian flag, flew over the pitch. Albania’s players subsequently ran for safety and Atkinson later declared the match abandoned on security grounds.
UEFA’s disciplinary committee has ordered that Serbia – a perpetual source of crowd trouble at international level – must play their next two home Euro qualifiers behind closed doors.
Serbia have also been penalised three points which balances out the award of three points on the grounds that Albania were guilty of forcing the abandonment of the game.
Both federations have been fined €100,000.
The Albanian federation has already indicated submission of an appeal and has described the judgment as a “travesty.”
The brother of the Albanian prime minister denied initial reports that he had commanded the drone from the VIP box.
This was the first match between the nations in the Serbian capital since 1967. The teams had not been separated in the draw by UEFA despite long-running political and popular tension since Albanian-dominated Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008.