Romania beats Kosovo 2-0 in temporarily suspended match due to Discriminatory behavior by Romanian fans
According to Reuters, Romanian fans displayed a banner which read “Kosovo is Serbia,” and some chanted “Serbia, Serbia.”
Referees temporarily paused the game, removing the players from the field.
The Romanian Football Federation told CNN Sport the banner and chants were the actions of “a group of ultras illegally introduced into the stadium.”
The company confirmed law enforcement had identified those involved in the posting of provocative messages of a political, ideological, religious or insulting nature.
“A legal investigation will be conducted based on the facts committed,” the statement continued.
CNN reported that UEFA was reviewing all official reports from Tuesday’s matches.
The Football Federation of Kosovo has not yet responded to CNN’s request for comment.
As a result of the 1998-99 war, during which Kosovar Albanians attempted to break away from today’s Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. During the war, NATO intervened to protect Kosovo’s Albanian majority.
Due to dozens of NATO peacekeepers were injured after they were attacked by ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo, during protests over the installation of ethnically Albanian mayors.
Violence broke out after Serbian demonstrators tried to block the newly elected mayors from taking office in the northern town of Zvecan on Monday, following a disputed election in April.
While this sort of violence against peacekeepers is rare, tensions have spiked in the region in recent months, fueled by deep historical rifts.
Kosovo is considered a breakaway state by Serbia and does not recognize its independence. Kosovo’s Serbs view themselves as part of Serbia, and see Belgrade as their capital, rather than Pristina.
There has been tension between Romania and Kosovo because Romania does not recognize Kosovo.
As soon as Vedat Muriqi received a second yellow card for a foul, the game was restarted with Kosovo reduced to ten men.
As Romania struggled to break the deadlock throughout the second half, Nicolae Stanciu finally broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute, before Valentin Mihăilă doubled their lead late on.
In Group I, Romania moves into second place with 12 points, while Kosovo drops to fifth place with four points.
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The news reference is CNN