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Fallout from chaos at Serbia vs. Albania continues

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UEFA have charged both countries after their Euro 2016 qualifier was abandoned following a mass brawl. The results of the investigation will be revealed next week.

Alexa Stankovic AFP

On Tuesday, the match between Serbia and Albania was abandoned at 0-0, after a miniature drone carrying a banner depicting "Greater Albania" flew over the pitch. The tension amongst the crowd at Partizan Stadium, officially composed of Serbian fans only, boiled over. Fans threw whatever was on hand,invaded the pitch and chased down Albanian players, who were forced to run into the tunnel. It was chaos of the sort that hadn't been seen during an international match in recent memory.

It comes as no surprise, then, that UEFA have opened an investigation, and both Serbia and Albania face sanctions over what transpired. The disciplinary committee will rule on October 23, deciding on sanctions as well as whether the game will be replayed -- and if not, how points will be awarded.

Serbia have accused Albania of a "pre-planned terrorist action," presumably due to the fact that the drone invasion was clearly premeditated. The use of the image of Greater Albania was a deliberate provocation, preying upon Serbs' feelings toward Kosovo in particular.

That's not to excuse the reaction of the fans, of course. Of greater concern is that Albania have alleged that, in addition to fans, security personnel and police attacked the players. Albania have also stated that Armando Duka, the FA president, was hit by a piece of concrete, and that various projectiles were flung at the players after the warmup.

The official charges for both countries are a bit different. Albania have been charged with refusing to play and the "display of an illicit banner". The charges against Serbia are  setting off fireworks, crowd disturbance, a pitch invasion, "insufficient organization" and the use of a laser pen.