Albania have been awarded a victory over Serbia by the court of arbitration for sport having successfully challenged Uefa sanctions imposed after a drone with a political banner was flown into a stadium.
The Euro 2016 qualifying match in Belgrade in October 2014 was abandoned with the score goalless after fighting broke out between players, fans and team officials on the pitch of the Partizan Stadium.
The brawl, which involved representatives of both sides and pitch invaders from the stands, arose after the drone lowered a flag bearing an insignia of “Greater Albania”. It was caught by the Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic.
Uefa reacted to the incidents by ordering Albania to forfeit the match, while Serbia were given a 3-0 default win. However, Serbia were also deducted three points and ordered to host two qualifiers in an empty stadium. Both countries were fined €100,000.
CAS considered the incidents and responded by rejecting the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, upholding in part an appeal filed by Albania’s FA, and deeming the match to have been forfeited by Serbia instead.
In its ruling, CAS said: “The panel found that the match stoppage and the eventual abandonment of the match were caused by security lapses of the organisers and acts of violence exerted on the Albanian players by the Serbian fans and at least one security steward. As such, the panel holds that the Football Association of Serbia and not the Football Association of Albania must be considered as responsible for the match not being played in full.”
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