Reaction related to the UEFA’s decision

Basing on the agreement taking by the investigative commision of UEFA, concerning the incident during the game Serbia Albania, to whom the appeal has been given in favor of the Serbian football federation, and to the Albanian football federation to which has been given a substantial fine.

The investigative commision of UEFA yesterday came forth with a decision concerning an incident occuring during the Serbia – Albania game played on the 14th October 2014.
Among other decisions, Serbia has been awarded a 3 – 0 win, whereas the Albanian football federation fined with a 100.000€ fine.

The Albanian student organisation ”VLERA” expresses its deep indignation concerning UEFA’s judgement.
”VLERA” has been astound in a negative sense for the non objectiveness UEFA has shown in its decisioin.
”VLERA” condemns racism and world wide violence harshly. Therefore a non objective judgement taken by an organization as big as UEFA indignates us most severely, taking the fact that UEFA is supposed to give the good example of eradicating these occurrences in the football field.

Taking into account a banner expressing violence and racism which has been present in the crowd during the game, UEFA has therefore created a dangerous precendent legitimating these phenomena. This goes against UEFA principles. The best example for this is their famous « Say no to racism » motto.

UEFA has ignored numerous elements in this confrontation amidst two Balkanic nations.

Firstly, a not welcoming atmosphere, and a high tension that has accompanied the Albanian delegation during their stay in Belgrade. Numerous items have been projected to the delegates and players, not only in the field, but outside the field likewise. (for example during the journey from airport to the hotel).

Secondly: numerous provocation and insults were expressed during the whole game. Before the game even started, Serbian fans shouted discriminative and racist slogans against Albanians. From the start until the end of the game there has been an anti-Albanian outburst in the stadium with gruesome chants with the likes of ”Kill all the Albanians” or ”Death to all Albanians”. Banners with political contents were also present. Among other banners, there has been one with inscriptions like: « Kosovo is Serbia «, « Long live Vladimir Putin « likewise a big banner was seen with the picture of a war criminel named: Vojislav Seselj. In addition, the NATO flag has been burned by the Serbian fans. Besides the racist chants and banners, the violence exercised on the Albanian players and its staff, not only by the Serbian hooligans, but also from the security agents has totally been ignored by the investigative commision of UEFA.

It is also worth mentioning the presence of Ivan Bogdanov, who has been condemned for 5 years not visiting a football stadium, due to a preceding criminal act exerted in Italy.
This person, to whom is not allowed the entrance in a football stadium, was not only present in the stadium, but also entered the football field to attack the Albanian football players, which has not been interrupted nor stopped by the Serbian police force.

How is it possible, that a flag projecting the ethnical Albanian territory, coming from an unknown source/person, should cost the Albanian football federation so much, whereas the above cited occurences has not been taking into account by UEFA?

Therefore, VLERA estimates that these primitive phenomena have no place in a football field, in the middle of Europe.
This biased judgement taken by UEFA has to be reviewed for the sake of sport, which has emerged as the biggest loser in this event.

VLERA: Albanian Student Organisation
BRUSSELS, 26 october 2014

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