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#21 [url]

Oct 16 14 2:32 PM

Why were Serbia and Albania allowed to be in the same group anyhow?
If UEFA separates Armenia + Azerbaijan, and Spain + Gibraltar, then why could they not anticipate this obvious Kosovotastic scenario.

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#23 [url]

Oct 16 14 6:49 PM

nfm24 wrote:
Why were Serbia and Albania allowed to be in the same group anyhow?
If UEFA separates Armenia + Azerbaijan, and Spain + Gibraltar, then why could they not anticipate this obvious Kosovotastic scenario.
"[...] However, a Uefa spokesman said there was “no clear reason” why the two teams should be kept apart in the draw and that neither side had made such a request at the time of the draw.
He said the three criteria used to determine whether two countries should be kept apart were whether they had normal diplomatic relations, whether there was an ongoing military or armed conflict and whether there had been a request made by either national association to be kept apart. [...]"

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#24 [url]

Oct 16 14 7:33 PM

The drone with the Albanian flag icluding a "map" og Greater Albania was very provocative for the Serbs. I think Serb player was right to pick up the drone including provocative flag, which he wanted to handover to the 4th official, so the match could be continued.

Imho UEFA have to give following punishments:
+ both Albanian players who attacked Mitrovic should be suspended for 6 or 12 months.
+ as these Albanian players started the disturbance, Albania should be deducted 3 points.
+ as Serbian stewards were not able to stop the crowd entering the field and some Serbian stewards knocked Albanian players, Serbia should play their following 6 home qualifying matches behind closed doors.

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#25 [url]

Oct 16 14 8:56 PM

Sensini wrote:
"[...] However, a Uefa spokesman said there was “no clear reason” why the two teams should be kept apart in the drawHe said the three criteria used to determine whether two countries should be kept apart were ... a request made by either national association to be kept apart. [...]"
What a clown.  "No clear reason"... how blind can you be!
Anyway, next time I will recommend that Scotland formally requests to be kept apart from all teams except San Marino.   Then we will surely qualify from this two team group.  Or at least, we will finish 2nd which is still an improvement. 


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#26 [url]

Oct 16 14 9:46 PM

Fast Midfielder wrote:
Imho UEFA have to give following punishments:
+ both Albanian players who attacked Mitrovic should be suspended for 6 or 12 months.
+ as these Albanian players started the disturbance, Albania should be deducted 3 points.
+ as Serbian stewards were not able to stop the crowd entering the field and some Serbian stewards knocked Albanian players, Serbia should play their following 6 home qualifying matches behind closed doors.

I watched the video of this "game".   I don't think any players of either team should really be punished severely.  A couple maybe for throwing punches in the melee, they can have a red card.   The Serbian players mostly behaved well throughout and indeed ushered away invading spectators, to protect the Albanians.

I disagree that Albania should be deducted any points.  Unless it can be proved that the flag was orchestrated by members of the Albanian federation; then they would have to receive some punishment of course.   In my view the Albanians cannot be blamed for refusing to play on.  Who would agree to play in such a situation?   Imagine the scenes if Albania played on and scored a winning goal in the second half... 

The Serbian federation has to be punished because they simply did not provide a safe environment for such a match, which was the main problem from the start.
Personally I think the Serbians have had enough chances already.  There were many similar incidents over the years - they just cannot do it.  Their crowds always have a large element of racist violent hooligans, and they need to be punished in an effective way so that they actually address this issue properly.   I'm sure the issue is in Serbian society and not just in football, but they need to do better.  You cannot expect teams to travel to play in this kind of environment.  Football is not war and these people need to learn this the hard way.  

I say all remaining Serbia home matches behind closed doors, away from Belgrade, and Serbia to forfeit this match 0-3.   As a minimum punishment.

Compare the example of the Denmark vs Sweden game, when just one Danish spectator managed to assault the referee.  Denmark forfeited the game 0-3 and had restrictions on stadiums in home matches.   The events in Serbia were far more serious than this.
You cannot have a situation where players can be attacked by fans on the field.  If that happens, you must lose the match.  No matter the provocation.

Ultimately, the abandonment of the match was caused by the lack of adequate security.  The flag was just a spark to start the fire. 
The atmosphere was nasty from the beginning.  There was racist chanting ("death to Albanians" etc) and throwing of coins, stones, and flares towards the Albanians, even before the match began, and it continued regularly throughout the first half. 

To me it seemed Mitrovic was just trying to help the game continue by pulling down the flag.  He did not do anything offensive with it, but perhaps it would have been smarter of him to ask Albanian players to remove it first.

Then Xhaka and Lila rushed to collect the flag from Mitrovic (and Gudelj who was assisting him), to try to "defend the flag" or something.  But there was not real fighting of players at that point, some confrontations, but not a full brawl.
Then Balaj and Agolli collected the flag and began running off the field with it when an invading spectator attacked Balaj with a plastic chair.  Albanian captain Cana then wrestled the spectator to the ground (he may have punched him also), while more players and spectators arrived to join the melee.
But from what I could see the vast majority of players of both sides were trying to calm the situation and split up the fighting, rather than join the fighting, at that point.

After a minute or two events settled down a bit, then referee Atkinson signalled to both teams to leave the field.
This sparked a second wave of several spectators running on to the field to confront the Albanians, but Serbian players intervened and blocked most of them.  More missiles were thrown by the spectators as the Albanians ran off the field and one or two spectators managed to attack them as they entered the tunnel. 

The crowd had to be managed with riot police meanwhile, and the match was formally abandoned about 30 minutes later.

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#27 [url]

Oct 24 14 4:27 PM

Today UEFA announced the decision to award Serbia a 3-0 win, and then also deduct Serbia 3 points.
In addition both FAs will be fined 100000 Euros, and Serbia must play the next two home games behind closed doors.
Both FAs will appeal. The detailed reasoning behind the decision was not announced (yet).

I agree with the punishments for Serbia. But I don't see why the match was awarded 3-0 against Albania, (which is basically the same punishment to Albania as Serbia), or why they have the same level of fine. The only difference in punishment is the closed-doors for two matches. This is arguably not much of a punishment to Serbia anyhow, as their crowd is more disruptive than helpful.

Presumably UEFA decided that Albania forfeited the match by declining to play on.
If so, that would be quite bizarre punishment since their players had been attacked. Imagining a more extreme example, what if Albanian players had been very seriously injured or even killed by the invading spectators? Would they still have to play the match?

It could also depend on the referee's report : did he abandon the match due to the crowd situation, or due to the Albanians being unwilling to continue? In any case, the latter was due to the former.

Anyway, both will appeal and the UEFA reasoning will be sent to them in the next few days, so this story will continue.

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#28 [url]

Oct 24 14 4:36 PM

Thinking about ways to proceed in future and try to punish this kind of stadium violence / aggression in a more constructive way:

How about in every match, the home team can be awarded a score between 0 and 3 for their crowd's behaviour, and general organization, fair play etc.
Then the average of these scores, over all home matches, is added on to the points. Or used as a tie-breaker instead of goal-difference / head-to-head.

For example, in 10 qualifying games, 5 at home, with perfect crowd behaviour, most teams would receive a score of 3, which could be equivalent to 3 extra points in the table.
Away games could also be incorporated.

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#29 [url]

Oct 25 14 9:20 AM

I agree Albania has also been punished. It were Albanian players who attacked the Serbian player who picked up the drone with a (for Serbs) very provocative flag. Serbia has to be punishes for bad behaviour of its spectators and stewards.

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#30 [url]

Oct 25 14 9:41 AM

And note that, according to insistent rumours, an Albanian citizen was the responsible for the drone irruption.

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#31 [url]

Oct 25 14 11:32 AM

It should not matter about whether it was an Albanian or Serbian or Samoan who flew the drone. Unless it was operated by the Albanian association, it has nothing to do with the football team, it is just the action of one or two fans. Obviously it was calculated to provoke, but it was non-violent. It would be the same as if a fan in the stadium throws a small frisbee, with a flag on it, above the field.

Flying the drone was not a worse interruption than throwing flares and stones onto the field aimed at players, or hitting them with chairs, which the Serbians did. Flying a flag is not a violent act, per se.

To use another example : if the Albanian president visits the Serbian president, and an Albanian civilian flies the same drone and same Albanian flag over their meeting, nobody would blame and punish the Albanian government for that. But if Serbian civilians throw rocks at the Albanian president or hit him with chairs, you will surely blame the Serbians for lack of security arrangements.

Albania should be punished for the players fighting only. Serbia should be more severely punished overall. This UEFA decision seems on face value just a lazy one, to consider the offences equally guilty. In any case it is ridiculous to award the match to Serbia. Absolutely ridiculous. It could only be based on some unknown information not published yet.

Albanian players started the fight : sure. The referee could have shown the red card but he did not. Unless it was done afterwards on the match report, but I have not seen this reported yet. Why not?
I'm not sure if UEFA have announced any suspension of any players of either team. Maybe it will be announced later. If not, then the decision will be more strange.
It does not make sense to award a 0-3 just because some players fought (from both sides), without also punishing the players individually.

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TheRoonBa

Posts: 5,500 Site Admin

#35 [url]

Nov 16 14 11:22 AM

I must have got too excited that Liechtenstein won away from home...  This is their first ever competitive away victory (only their second overall, after a 1-0 win away to San Marino in a friendly in 2011).

Last Edited By: TheRoonBa Nov 16 14 11:26 AM. Edited 2 times.

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TheRoonBa

Posts: 5,500 Site Admin

#38 [url]

Nov 17 14 2:02 AM

Sensini wrote:
TheRoonBa wrote:
Andorra just let the minnows down. A 5-0 defeat to Cyprus is really bad.
A recurrence of the result 14 years and 1 day ago.

I bet everyone in Cyprus knew this was going to happen.

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#39 [url]

Nov 17 14 7:59 PM

Talking about recurrences... On November 16, 1994, Croatia beat Italia 2-1 in Palermo for a European qualifier. Yesterday, November 16, 2014, both teams played again for a European qualifier in Italy. The result was 1-1, but towards the end of the game, Croatia missed a clamorous goal chance...

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#40 [url]

Nov 17 14 10:12 PM

And the fans missed the referee with the fireworks.

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