A football draw between Albania and Serbia, played at the FK Partizan stadium in Belgrade was always going to be a little tense. However it was made a lot worse by the presence of a drone.
The drone apparently belonged to Olsi Rama, the brother of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who released it from the VIP box where he was sitting. It was not clear how he smuggled the drone into the country, but apparently if you are the brother of the Prime Minister airport security is a little lighter.
The drone had a “Greater Albania” flag attached and it shows territory within Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, northern Greece and the autonomous region of Kosovo, which the Serbian government still claims. The flag depicts the word “indigenous,” as well as portraits of Ismail Qemali and Isa Boletinim, two Albanian nationalist leaders.
The Serbians were a little miffed about this slight to their greatness and right to rule anywhere in the Balkans with a Serbian population. They started charting the popular poem “kill, slit their throats, exterminate the Albanians” which indicates the genocides carried out by their forces were probably just accidental and human shields were just a terrible mistake.
Its team burnt a NATO flag which is the sort thing you pack to bring to a football match if you are a football team, right after your boots and the oranges.
Then a riot broke out completely out of the blue.
Albania’s coach Giovanni de Biazzi of Italy has told Albanian media that four of his players were injured in the scuffle. He said that Serbian security staff decided it someone else’s job to protect players and waded into the Albanians themselves.
Serbian state media is reporting police have arrested Rama on suspicion that he masterminded the whole thing.
However, Albanian Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri has denied reports about Rama’s arrest, describing made up . Rama had left the stadium for the airport. He did not say if he was carrying a rather large drone shaped package with him.
It was the first time that the Albanian national soccer team had travelled to Belgrade since 1967 to play Serbia in a European Championship qualifying match. One has to wonder what they were thinking about.