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They suggest playing the Serbia-Albania match in Thessaloniki

21 October 2014 / 12:10:23  GRReporter
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Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris suggested that the football match between the national teams of Serbia and Albania that was interrupted last week be held in Thessaloniki. In statements to the Greek news agency AMNA Boutaris stated that the organization of the match in the city could ease the tension and emphasize the multinational profile of Thessaloniki. He has submitted the proposal for consideration by the Board of the Association of Municipalities in Central Macedonia.

The derby, which is part of the qualifications for Euro 2016, was interrupted in the 40th minute due to heavy clashes between the players of both teams. They were joined by Serbian fans who came down from the stands, whereas others pelted the Albanian players with a variety of items.

The reason was a small helicopter that appeared above the stadium, flying a flag depicting the map of Great Albania. It is worth noting that in addition to Kosovo it included parts of Macedonia and of northern Greece, the city of Ioannina and Corfu. The flying flag was pulled down by a Serbian footballer who was attacked by members of the Albanian national team.

The nationalist euphoria, however, went beyond the stadium. Two days after the dramatic night Greece handed a formal protest note to the Albanian government in which Athens urged Tirana to condemn the nationalist activities directed against the Greek minority in Albania after the events at the stadium in Belgrade.

Tags: PoliticsYiannis BoutarisThessalonikiFootball matchSerbia-Albania
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