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Kosovo-Romania match interrupted by “Serbia” chants (VIDEO) — RT World News

Romanian ultras shout ‘Kosovo is Serbia’ during UEFA qualifiers in Bucharest

The 2024 UEFA Championship group qualifying match between Romania and Kosovo was delayed by 30 minutes on Tuesday evening, after the visiting players objected to Romanian fans displaying a banner reading: “Kosovo is Serbia” and chanting the name of the neighboring country.

Romania is one of five EU member states that do not recognize Kosovo, a breakaway province of Serbia whose Albanian provisional government declared independence in 2008. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) however admitted Kosovo as a member in 2016.

At the opening of the match in Bucharest, the Romanian “ultras” chanted “Serbia! Serbia!” while the Kosovo anthem played. Organizers had to turn up the sound to drown out the chants, according to Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu.

Several Romanian social media users posted videos Kosovo fans booing the Romanian anthem first, during the June match in Pristina.

Videos and photos from the national arena in Bucharest showed Romanian fans with banners declaring “Kosovo is Serbia” in Serbian and “Bessarabia is Romania” in Romanian. Bessarabia is one of the names of present-day Moldova.

“Please stop chanting our neighbor’s name” the organizers reminded the crowd several times, letting them know that the match could be interrupted due to “Revisionism is not tolerated by UEFA.”

The Kosovar players eventually left the field in protest and the match was interrupted for more than 30 minutes before resuming. The final score was 2:0 for Romania.

When Kosovo players approached the Romanian ultras’ stand again, commentators urged the fans: “Do not accept any provocation. Don’t sing what you sang earlier. Do not show banners.

Social media users of Albanian origin accused Romanian fans of “racist” chant, demanding that the match be called and Kosovo be awarded a victory by default. The Kosovo FA claims the banner was “odious.” Kosovo is in the qualifying group with Andorra, Belarus, Israel, Romania and Switzerland. He hasn’t won a single match so far.

During the 2014 Albania-Serbia UEFA qualifiers, an Albanian fan flew a drone into the Belgrade stadium. When a Serbian player tore down the nationalist banner hanging from the drone, a fight broke out on the field and the match was stopped. UEFA initially awarded Serbia victory by default, but awarded them three points. Albania then “won” all three points during the refereeing.

NATO troops took control of the province in June 1999, after a 78-day air war against Serbia without UN authorization. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 recognizes Kosovo as sovereign Serbian territory. Russia, China, India and about half of the UN members joined Serbia in not recognizing the government in Pristina.

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