UEFA INDULGES ANTI-ALBANIAN RACISM IN SERBIA

I don’t want to introduce my letter with any hurtful word considering your reluctance to condemn the anti-Albanian racism displayed by Serbian fans. It is regrettable to see that...

I don’t want to introduce my letter with any hurtful word considering your reluctance to condemn the anti-Albanian racism displayed by Serbian fans. It is regrettable to see that a reputable institution like UEFA, which is supposed to be impartial in its judgments gives unstinting support to Serbia, in spite of horrific violence incited willingly by Football Association of Serbia (FAS) and other relevant institutions.

Albanian players try to take cover as they flee to the tunnel - a chair and a bottle (ringed) were thrown at them.

Albanian players try to take cover as they flee to the tunnel – a chair and a bottle (ringed) were thrown at them.

To put it simple, Serbia did not guarantee normal conditions for the match between national team of Serbia and Albania. It deployed some measures never seen before in the history of football. No peaceful Albanian fan was allowed to enter on the ”Partisan” stadium on Belgrade for no earthly reason, while in meantime there was no prohibition for extremist fan-groups like ”Grobari”, a well-organised Serbian fascist group which maintains close relations with certain criminal circles on Belgrade. It’s beyond any doubt that ”Grobari” furnished during 90’s Serbian paramilitary units with thousands of volunteers. The history of this fun-club is riddled by numerous incidents, unbridled violence and racism in Serbia and abroad.

Your institution is well aware of such facts, yet you never took any serious measure to give an end to this menacing force, which jeopardize all Europe. It would be too waste of time to give a timeline chronology of events on 14 October match between Serbia and Albania, since I am ware that you know all about it.

It appears that your statements are alarmingly biased because you’re trying to pass into silence the racism and other wrongdoings of both Serb fans and FAS. It is more than worrying that you turn a blind eye to the unbridled violence of Serbs.

The number of deliberate assaults on Albanian players is too big to pass unseen. When the Albanian anthem was intoned, Serbian fans booed and heckled to the point it could barely heard the Albanian anthem. From this moment onwards, everything went awry. There were numerous banners carrying the overly provocative slogan ”Kosovo je serbija” (Kosovo is Serbia) in spite of several rules of UEFA to not allow political messages during a match.

Moreover, Serbian fans threw concretes to Albanian players in order to wound them as much as possible. The Serbian fans tried all the time to enter in the field while Serbian authorities did not lift a finger to halt them out. It must be noted that there was no provocation by the Albanian side because not a single Albanian fan was allowed to enter within ”Partisan” stadium.

The flying drone which appeared at around 41:00 minute did not cause turmoil because the unrest commenced much earlier. Serbian fans threw objects more and more; even the official referee was compelled to interrupt the game more than one time. It’s very disappointing your mindless statement which tend to blatantly condone the Serbian violence.

There is no basis to put the blame on a single drone carrying a flag with Albanian symbols, while sweeping under rug the black fascist t-shirts of Serbian fans, whose inclination towards fascism and racism is a clear evidence. It is unfair to point the finger to Albanians while there is still no investigation to reveal the author of the flying drone.

Serbian Supporters, some dressed all in black, attacked Albanian National Team-Players on the pitch at the Partizan Stadium.

Serbian Supporters, some dressed all in black, attacked Albanian National Team-Players on the pitch at the Partizan Stadium.

The disgruntled Serbian mob reached the nadir of insanity when they chanted ”Ubi Ubi Siptara” (Kill, Kill Albanians) and ““Ubi, zakolji, da Šiptar ne postoji” (Kill and slain, so no Albanian will exist).

Is it possible that UEFA officials are deaf when it comes to such racist slogans? You heard them too well but never condemned them. It must be emphasized that the term ” Šiptar” to denote Albanians is profoundly derogatory and stretch its origin back to the Milosevic’s fascist regime during 1990’s.

The basic principles of UEFA are at stake as long as its officials do not react to racist slogans of Serbs but draw the main attention to a single drone whose author is still unknown. I warn you to not imply double standards because you’re about to lose once for all your already tarnished reputation as UEFA!

Indeed, Serbia must be punished; there are no ifs, ands, or buts. The recent history of Serbia is replete with racism shown during several matches (similar situations were seen also during Italy-Serbia match, Serbia-England, Serbia-Croatia and so on!). Don’t you see any pattern or are you still itching to pluck things out of the air and invent some imaginary Albanian villain perpetrators who came out of the blue and disturbed the “heavenly peace” on Partisan stadium?

Both, Serbian Government and Football Association of Serbia, were not willing to give an end to the ever-growing fascism and hooliganism during soccer matches. If UEFA dithers to act properly and hesitate to punish FAS on account of hideous racism, then the basic principles of UEFA have been gone once for all. Last but not least, Michel Platini must retract his callous statement and apologize to all Albanians!

Salih Mehmeti, është radio gazetar i pavarur. Aktualisht ai është duke vijuar studimet në degën e gazetarisë në Universitetin Publik "Hasan Prishtina", fakulteti i Filologjisë. S. Mehmeti, mes tjerash merret edhe me studime autodidaktike në fushën e historisë dhe politikës.

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