The UEFA has awarded Serbia a 3-0 victory in their game with Albania halted by a bizarre, drone-flown banner.
Earlier this month, chaos ensured in Belgrade when a drone flying a “Greater Albania” flag hovered over the field in the match between two national enemies that hadn’t played since 1967. Albania and Serbia fought over Kosovo in the late 1990s. The Greater Albania flag refers to areas like Kosovo populated by Albanians but not necessarily governed by them.
When the drone hovered over the pitch, and Serbian player Stefan Mitrovic ripped the banner from the unmanned aircraft, fights broke out, fans invaded the field, and the Albanians refused to continue the match. Serbia accused the brother of the Albanian president of controlling the drone by remote from the stands.
The match ceased a few minutes before halftime with the score stalemated at zero.
UEFA faulted Albania for the banner and refusing to play the match. They cited the home team’s inability to keep order, its fans invading the pitch, and the fireworks and projectiles aimed at the visiting team. The governing body fined both teams $100,000 euros. Serbia will have to play three games in front of an empty stadium as a result of the debacle.