15 October 2014
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the incident which occurred at yesterday's Serbia-Albania European qualifier game, assessing it as a deliberate and premeditated provocation.
Releasing a drone containing the flag of the Greater Albania, showing the territory covering parts of not only Serbia but Greece, Montenegro and Macedonia as well, is an unprecedented provocation on a football pitch and must have been planned in advance, so that there can be no doubt that it was not a spontaneous incident provoked by hooligans. It was a premeditated political provocation intended to cause disorders in Belgrade that would cast a shadow over the fact that Serbia has been very successfully developing and fostering cooperation in the region.
Head of Serbian diplomacy Ivica Dacic pointed out that the celebratory gathering of Albanian communities following last night's incident surely did not contribute to the de-escalation of tensions, but could, instead, in particular in Kosovo and Metohija, give rise to an atmosphere of fear, sending for the umpteenth time a message to the non-majority population communities that they were not welcome.
Serbia cannot bear the responsibility for the irresponsible provocation on the part of Albanian visitors and will continue to work for the development of good-neighbourly relations which, it believes, are the only way of overcoming potential problems. On the other hand, we are going to take whatever steps are necessary to draw the attention of our international partners, especially those in the European Union, to all the aspects of this incident and call once again for the application of equal standards for all, in order to avoid the recurrence of similar incidents threatening the political progress of regional cooperation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to convey its gratitude to those members of the national team who calmed passions on the pitch by defending and promoting in the best possible way the values that Serbia stands for.