The European Championship qualifier between Serbia and Albania that erupted into violence after a drone flew an Albanian nationalist banner into the stadium was just the latest international match to be abandoned because of fighting.
A look at some other high-profile games that were halted because of violence:
IRELAND VS. ENGLAND: FEB. 15, 1995
England fans rioted inside Lansdowne Road stadium in Dublin shortly after Ireland took the lead in a friendly match. The game was abandoned after 28 minutes as English right-wing extremists tore up wooden seats and used them to attack Irish fans and police. More than 20 people were hospitalized and 40 arrested.
The riot came during a peaceful lull in the decades-old conflict in neighboring Northern Ireland, where 1994 paramilitary cease-fires were holding firm.
An Irish judicial investigation found that Britain’s criminal intelligence service had warned Ireland’s national police that a British neo-Nazi group, Combat 18, planned to disrupt the match, but Dublin authorities failed to take the warning seriously.
ZIMBABWE VS. SOUTH AFRICA: JULY 9, 2000
Thirteen people were crushed to death in a stampede during a World Cup qualifier in Harare that was sparked by police firing tear gas into a section of the National Sports Stadium containing Zimbabwe fans.
Home fans reacted to South Africa scoring its second goal of the game in the 84th minute by throwing bottles and other items onto the field.
Officers fired tear gas into the crowd and there was a stampede as fans attempted to leave the stadium. Some players lay face down on the grass, choking and covering their faces, and required medical assistance before leaving the field.
It was reported that police reacted because they had been taunted by fans giving the open-handed salute of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and singing pro-MDC chants.
The game was abandoned and South Africa was awarded a 2-0 win.
FRANCE VS. ALGERIA: OCT. 6, 2001
It was the first soccer game between the two countries since Algeria gained independence from France in 1962. The friendly at the Stade de France outside Paris was meant to show brotherhood between them.
Instead, the French national anthem was roundly booed by Algeria fans and chaos erupted on the field after 76 minutes.
With France leading 4-1, a lone Algeria fan ran onto the playing surface brandishing a flag. Moments later, he was joined by dozens of others as stewards struggled to retain order.
A few minutes later, several dozen more fans invaded the pitch and the players walked off. The match was abandoned. France defender Lilian Thuram was visibly upset as he argued angrily with one fan before being dragged away by coach Roger Lemerre. Riot police then intervened to restore calm as jeers rang out.
ITALY VS. SERBIA: OCT. 12, 2010
Pre-game predictions of crowd trouble involving Serbia fans were born out amid violent scenes that led to the European qualifying match in Genoa being abandoned after six minutes.
Tomislav Karadzic, head of the Serbian Football Association, said fans in the stadium were “just the executors” of plans that had been drawn up in advance back home.
The kickoff was delayed by 40 minutes after Serbian fans threw flares at Italy supporters and onto the field. The game got underway but more flares and fireworks were thrown. With some Serbs also clashing with police outside the stadium, Scottish referee Craig Thomson led the teams back into the changing rooms.
One firework landed close to Italy goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.
Italy was awarded a 3-0 win.
SENEGAL VS. IVORY COAST: OCT. 14, 2012
Ivory Coast players and supporters were escorted by police out of a stadium in Dakar after rioting by Senegal fans during an African Cup of Nations qualifying match.
Didier Drogba had just given Ivory Coast a 2-0 lead when Senegalese supporters began lighting fires in the stands, causing a haze of smoke over the stadium, and threw objects onto the pitch.
Senegal fans attacked Ivorian supporters and police fired tear gas into the stands.
Dozens of Ivorian fans were encouraged to evacuate onto the field, where both teams congregated in the middle. The match was suspended in the 76th minute and abandoned 45 minutes later.
Cars were driven onto the field to take away Ivorian fans and the Ivory Coast team was hustled out by police holding shields.
DENMARK VS. SWEDEN: JUNE 2, 2007
Angy over a late penalty call, a drunken Danish fan interrupted a thrilling European Championship qualifier between two Nordic rivals by running onto the field in Copenhagen and aiming a punch at the referee.
Denmark had fallen behind 3-0 but managed to even the score at 3-3 when midfielder Christian Poulsen was sent off for punching Markus Rosenberg in the 89th minute. That led to a penalty being awarded and what intruder Ronni Korvig later called his “moment of idiocy.”
A Denmark player intervened to ensure Korvig did not make contact with the referee, who nonetheless abandoned the match. Sweden was awarded a 3-0 win.
In 2012, a court ordered Norvig to pay Denmark’s football federation nearly $320,000 in damages for his attack on the referee.
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