UEFA should take all the points from Serbia and ban them from future competition in EURO 2016
The much anticipated match between Serbia and Albania ended in the worst way imaginable. The game was abandoned a few minutes before the end of the first half after a remotely controlled drone flew across the stadium caring an Albanian flag with two of their national heroes. Serbian player Aleksandar Mitrovic grabbed the flag which prompted the reaction from the Albanian players as they tried to take the flag back from their hands. All hell broke loose after Serbian hooligans rushed towards the field and attacked Bekim Balaj who was carrying the flag off the field. Albanian players defended themselves after being attacked by Serbian fans, some of their players, their technical staff and stadium security members.
As the players were leaving the field and heading to the tunnel, they were attacked again by Serbian hooligans as things like chairs and other harmful materials were being thrown at them. Albanian players and the coaching staff reported that they were attacked inside of the tunnel by stadium security as well. After the meeting with the officials, Albanian team lead by the captain Lorik Cana informed them that they not physically or mentally able to continue the match.
Now let’s try to make sense of all of this after a few days have passed and emotions had time to cool off a bit. It’s interesting that more I think about it and more videos of the incident I get to watch, the only option for UEFA is to take all the points from Serbia and ban them from future competition in EURO 2016.
Here are a few facts to support this analysis based on what we saw:
- To begin with, Albanian supporters were not allowed in the stadium to support their team
- The “incident” was caused by fans not by the players, so why attack the players?
- Albanian players after taking the flag from the Serbian team wanted to carry the flag of the field and continue the game
- There was complete failure from the organizers as they allowed hooligans to rush to the field and attack the players
- How did Ivan Bogdanov one of Serbia’s most notorious football hooligans who has been jailed for his past offenses get in the field? I thought he was banned for life to enter the stadium after Genoa incident.
- Some Serbian players and the security staff sided with hooligans and were throwing punches as well
- The Albanian team was verbally abused throughout the entire match even during the national anthem
- Albanian team reported that they were attached by the stadium security staff inside of the tunnel
- Throughout the game there were shouts “Kill Albanian”
- Serbian hooligans are seen in the stands as they burn an Albanian team jersey and the NATO flag
UEFA needs to watch the video replays like the rest of us. It doesn’t take forensic analysis to make sense of what happened. UEFA president Michel Platini needs to stop the rhetorical support for the Serbian team just as the Albanian Soccer Federation and the Albanian political leaders need to voice their concerns with the decision the UEFA is about to make.
The violent images displayed shocked the world and what happened that day should have never happened and let’s hope it never happens again. But let’s not forget that this is not the first time that Serbian team and their fans behave this way. Remember the Genoa incident, then this incident with the Albanian team and on Tuesday night the incident against the England team of U21.
The Serbian team and their Federation have displayed gruesome images to the world by showing lack of sport culture, organization and fair play.
UEFA, this message is for you!