Serbia’s foreign minister has accused Albania of “political provotcation” after they flying of a pro-Albanian flag sparked violence at an international football match in Belgrade.
Serbia’s president Tomislav Nikolic also warned on Wednesday of the “clear intentions” of those responsible to “provoke unrest in Serbia and to try to destabilise the whole region”.
The Euro 2016 qualifier between the Balkan rivals had to be abandoned on Tuesday after a “Greater Albania” flag was flown by drone low over the Partizan stadium in Belgrade.
The banner was pulled down by Serbian player Stefan Mitrovic, triggering a brawl between the two teams.
Some of the 20,000 Serbian supporters ran on to the pitch and attempted to kick and punch the Albanian players until the referee ordered the teams to leave the field as smoke flares and other missiles rained down from the stands.
The violence could endanger a planned historic visit to Serbia by Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama and risks inflaming fresh ethnic tensions in the Balkans.
Al Jazera’s Richard Parr reports.