Serbians and Albanians decide to settle their political problems in a soccer field

by C_herve9 on November 1, 2014 - 6:52pm

Serbians and Albanians decide to settle their political problems in a soccer field

An article entitled “Soccer brawl: Will Europe choose to ignore Serbian racism?” was published in October 21st, 2014. The publication was wrote by Gjovalin Shkurtaj, a member of the National Academy of Science of Albania. The article explains an unexpected incident that occurred in a soccer field in Serbia. The international soccer game was presenting the country of Serbia against Albania as part of a qualifying game for the European Cup in 2016. During the game, due to past problems between the two countries since two decades, no Albanian fans were allowed in the Serbian stadium. Plus, no Albanian symbols or flags were allow to be presented during the match. This decision was politically criticized by many soccer fans in the world through social media. The incident started immediately when both teams entered on the field. At their entry, Serbian fans started to sing discriminatory chants against Albanians players. The chants were asking for the death of all Albanian players presented on the field. At the 41st minute of the game an incident occurred which creates a fury among Serbian supporters. Indeed, a drone appear from the sky with an Albanian flag attached to it. When the supporters noticed it, a hundred of people ran on the field and start to aggress Albanian players and attack the drone. Hurriedly, the game stopped and, despite, the 4,000 guards, many players got injured by fans’ attacks. In few weeks, the UEFA (European government of soccer) will decide on the sanctions that will be given according to these incidents. According to the author, Serbian fans should be the people sanctioned, while some important individuals from the UEFA board are accusing the Albanian supporters to be the protagonists of this serious episode.

This article shocked me a lot for several reasons. Initially, it is unimaginable to see these kind of incidents happen in a sport like soccer, which is the most popular sports in the entire world. Soccer is known as a sport that brought people together even in sad moments. For example, civil wars or political problems have been stopped in many countries during important soccer events because it gives joy to everyone assisting to it. A soccer field doesn’t have any political purposes and should never be used by a government to solve any national issues. These two countries had a lot of issues between each other in the past. These problems created a hostile atmosphere during the game. It is unthinkable to hear that a government do not authorize any Albanian flags or supportive banners during a soccer game. How could a team go to a place where they are already fully hated, and also, not be permitted to bring any type symbol from his country? According to me, Serbian fans used this drone’s incident to have good reason to attack the Albanians. It is true to say that the drone has a part of responsibility on the entire problem that occurred. Indeed, the drone could have acted in provocative manner. With this being said, do we know if the incident would not have occurred anyway if the drone was never appeared? It is a great question knowing that even at the entrance of the players before the beginning of the game, Serbian fans were already chanting song asking for the death of Albanian players. In my opinion, with the hostile atmosphere that was previously installed in the stadium, Albanian players were in danger since their arrival to Serbia.






I did a lot of research on the Serbs’ ethnic cleansing that occurred in the spring of 1992. This is one of the major reasons I decided to answer to your post. I have learned about their past history and I have discovered the atrocities that occurred within the ethnic groups. As you might know, Serbs wanted to form a Great Serbia which led to genocide. Many different ethnic groups were involved, and Albanians were one of them.

Your post is the continuity of my researches, because it shows the impacts of the ethnic tensions many years later after the genocide, and I find it very interesting to conclude that tensions are still there. I though men were able to move forward…but as your post suggests it, tensions and hatred that happened many years ago can be still present in a country. As you said, these tensions exist since decades. I am surprised to see how time is not sufficient in terms of doing progress. So how much time will it take for human to move forward regarding the concept of racism?

In your article summary, you said it was politically accepted that no representation of the Albanians ethnicity (in any form) was allowed. It is awful to see that politics have such immoral values. I agree with you when you said that political problems have no reason to be on a soccer field. As you said, sports should bring people together. Also, I think people should dissociate politics with these kinds of events. However, it is somewhat impossible because pasts historical tensions will always have an impact on how two countries will play against each other on a field for a game. I think vengeance is a powerful motivation in these kinds of situations. I know it is important to consider the historical context when we discuss about racism. However, I think that in some cases, the past should be forgotten. Since the beginning, Serbs seek for power brought conflicts and created a massacre. Their actions were not justified many years ago; it is still now not justifiable. Again, it is easy to say that. Moving forward seems to be a hard thing to do.

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