Last night’s Serbia v Albania had to be abandoned due to crowd trouble instigated by a bizarre incident involving a drone. The match was halted shortly before halftime after a drone carrying a flag of Albania was flown in the stadium. The flag was in the shape of a map of Kosovo and carried the message ‘autochthonous’, meaning indigenous. After a short delay, Serbian defender Stefan Mitrovic decided (and possibly wrongly) to grab the flag and drag it to the ground.
This incident then sparked a mass brawl involving players and some supporters. The game was abandoned but the violence did not stop there as fans tried to storm the pitch to attack the Albanian team and staff.
The constant threat that exists between Serbia, Kosovo and Albania last night spilled over into football (there were no Albanian fans in the stadium). Football in this part of the world has always seen violence and politicised protests, and this incident last night was an extension of this on an international stage.