Tonight's qualifier between Serbia and Albania was abandoned after a drone towing a pro-Albanian banner flew over the pitch after 34 minutes of play at the Partizan Stadium in Belgrade. That was all courtesy of the Albanian Prime Minister's brother, who was later arrested over the incident.
The flag was torn down by Serbia's Stefan Mitrovic, which immediately caused the Albanian players to pile in to secure it. Team officals from both sides and some spectators entered the playing area, which led English referee Martin Atkinson to suspend the match outright.
As much as extreme nationalism should probably a thing of the last century, the wisdom of allowing such ancient and bitter enemies to play against each other has to be called into question, especially as the key issue of the status of Kosovo was not solved satisfactorily for either party.
The Albanian FA was given 2,000 tickets on the condition that only Albanian passport holders could buy them - a move which excluded the sizeable Albanian diaspora around Europe, as well as the ethnic Albanian residents of Kosovo. The offer was refused, which meant that no away fans were in the stadium, at least officially. It was the first time the Eagles have played in Belgrade since 1967.
So UEFA prevented Azerbaijan/Armenia and Spain/Gibraltar meeting in Euro qualifiers for poltical reasons. Didn't think about Serbia/Albania
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) October 14, 2014
Albania and Serbia are a joke how are you having a game abandoned in 2014 ridiculous
— Marcelo (@officialmarfs) October 14, 2014
Albania and Serbia match abandoned after a fight over a flag. See? It's not just Northern Ireland.
— Winston Smith (@winstonsmith121) October 14, 2014