Albania FA detests fan violence, blames Polish for provoking

AP , Thursday 14 Oct 2021

Albania's soccer federation on Thursday deplored the violent behavior of Albanian fans and blamed Polish fans for provocation in their World Cup qualifying match this week

Albania
AP

Albania lost to Poland 1-0 in Tirana on Tuesday. The game was suspended for around 20 minutes after Karol Swiderski had just scored for Poland in the 77th minute and Albanian fans hurled water bottles at the celebrating Poles. Poland's players walked off but returned to the field and held on to win.

A day later, FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the Hungarian, English, Albanian and Polish federations after condemning disorder involving Hungary and Albania fans in separate qualifiers.

The Albania Football Association acknowledged the ``incidents do not honor at all us, Albania and its wonderful fans,'' adding ``we had 22,000 excellent fans and only some scores of individuals spoiled all the good things done from the team.''

The statement by the association, however, blamed Polish fans for a ``continuous provocation and a very aggressive behavior,`` adding ``the Polish fans repeatedly for about two hours hurled objects at our fans in two areas of the stadium.''

``We do not have violent fans. We do not have a history of problematic fans. On the contrary, the excellent behavior and support of our fans during the matches and outside are an object of pride for us.``

Next May, Albania's Air Stadium, inaugurated two years ago, will host the Europa Conference League Final. The association pledged to work with the local authorities ``to raise our organizational capacities.''

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