Saturday, April 18, 2015

CAS hears Serbia, Albania appeal after Euro 2016 drone match

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has heard appeals by the Serbian and Albanian football federations challenging UEFA sanctions after their European Championship qualifier was abandoned.
A chaotic match in Belgrade last October was stopped before halftime then called off when a drone carrying an Albanian nationalist banner flew into the stadium.
Players clashed on the pitch and the Albania team refused to play after being attacked by Serbian fans.
UEFA ordered Albania to forfeit the match, and awarded Serbia a 3-0 default win.
However, Serbia was deducted all three points for the win and ordered to host two Euro 2016 qualifiers in an empty stadium.
UEFA also fined both federations 100,000 euros ($108,000).
CAS said in a statement that the two federations' appeals were heard Thursday and Friday.
The court panel aims to give a verdict before Serbia plays at Denmark on June 13 in the next round of qualifying match.
The Balkan rivals' return match is scheduled in Albania on Oct. 8.
Tensions between the countries were fueled by Kosovo, a province dominated by ethnic Albanians, declaring independence from Serbia in 2008.
Serbia already served one match of its empty-stadium sanction. It lost to Denmark 3-1 in November and next hosts Armenia on Sept. 4.
At the midway point in the five-team group, Portugal and Denmark are in the two automatic qualifying places for Euro 2016 in France.
Albania is in third place, level on points with Denmark, which guarantees at least a spot in the playoffs. The Albanians have seven points, six ahead of fourth-place Serbia.

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