By DAN KARELL
UEFA could drop a hammer blow on both the Serbian and Albanian FAs after their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match on Tuesday was abandoned due to crowd and player trouble.
Serbia and Albania share a border with the disputed territory, Kosovo. The trouble began midway through the first half at Stadion FK Partizan in Belgrade, Serbia when a drone entered the stadium carrying a flag of “greater Albania.” Serbian defender Stefan Mitrovic, and soon midfielder Nemanja Gudelj grabbed hold of the flag, sparking pushing and shoving from the Albanian players.
A small group of Serbian fans then made it on to the field and first attacked Bekim Balaj before a full-on melee ensued. Eventually the Albanian players and staff retreated to the locker room, with objects thrown at them from the stands. The Albanian FA did not allocate any tickets for away fans, fearing a potential brawl.
UEFA announced on Tuesday evening that they would be opening disciplinary proceedings on both countries, and president Michel Platini weighed in on the situation.
“Football is supposed to bring people together and our game should not be mixed with politics of any kind,” Platini said, via The Guardian. “The scenes in Belgrade last night were inexcusable.”
It was the first senior international match between the two nations since Serbia gained independence in 2006, and the first time Albania had played in Belgrade since 1967. UEFA defended their decision not to separate the two countries in qualifying, stating that neither FA requested they be separated, there was no ongoing armed conflict between the two, and they had normal diplomatic relations.
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THIAGO SUFFERS LIGAMENT TEAR
Bayern Munich’s central midfield has been slashed with another serious injury.
With Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger already on the long-term injury list, Thiago Alcantara suffered a torn knee ligament during a training session this week, and will now be sidelined indefinitely. According to Bayern Munich’s website, Thiago has been diagnosed with a partially torn medial collateral ligament, and needs to have another operation.
“What can I say?” Thiago said to Bayern’s website. “Of course, I am at the moment deeply disappointed and desperate. Why always me? But I will not give up. I will fight again. I’m going to get on the field again. And I will celebrate my comeback with FC Bayern.”
Thiago was already trying to comeback from a knee injury suffered last season, as well as a number of setbacks and other muscle injuries suffered this fall.
FIFA have suspended Mongolian FA president Ganbold Buyannemekh from participating in any soccer-related activities for a period of five years for accepting and soliciting bribes from Mohammed Bin Hammam. (REPORT)
Real Madrid are interested in signing 21-year-old holding midfielder Lucas Silva, who has been starring for Cruzeiro. (REPORT)
Queens Park Rangers centerback Rio Ferdinand has been charged with misconduct by the FA for tweet he sent that used a disparaging word. (REPORT)
Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul has suffered ligament damage in his elbow, sidelining him indefinitely. (REPORT)
Olympique Lyon announced that they lost €26.4 million in the last fiscal year. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? What kind of punishments do you think UEFA will drop on Albania or Serbia? How big of a loss is Thiago to Bayern’s plans this season?
Share your thoughts below.