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Albania awarded win for abandoned Serbia match

Albania have been awarded a victory over Serbia by the top sports court after a Euro 2016 qualifier was abandoned when a drone with a political banner flew into the stadium in Belgrade in October.

The drone trailing a pro-Albania flag was the responsibility of the Albania FA according to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but the judgement ruled the abandoned match - the decision was taken by English referee Martin Atkinson - was due to the violent reaction from Serbian fans and stewards.

The CAS overturned UEFA's original sanction and awarded Albania a 3-0 win, ordered three points be deducted from Serbia. Both Albania and Serbia FAs have been fined 100,000 euros.

he game was abandoned due to a pitch invasion. Credit: PA

The CAS ruling states: "The panel found that the match stoppage and the eventual abandonment of the match were caused by security lapses of the organisers and acts of violence exerted on the Albanian players by the Serbian fans and at least one security steward.

"In light of this finding, the CAS panel has decided that the UEFA European Championship qualifying Group I match between Serbia and Albania be deemed to have been forfeited by the Serbia FA by the score of 0:3.

"The CAS went on to find, in line with UEFA, that the Albania FA was responsible for the drone operated during the match, carrying a banner depicting Albanian nationalistic and patriotic symbols, and confirmed the fine of 100,000 euro imposed on the Albania FA."


Military helicopter carrying sick baby crashes near airport

A military helicopter carrying an ill baby for treatment has crashed in thick fog near an airport in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

An Mi-17 helicopter Credit: Reuters

The child, who was suffering from respiratory problems, was picked up by the helicopter after the ambulance it was travelling in got blocked by a landslide in the southern region of Raska, Serbia's B92 broadcaster reported.

Seven people - four crew, two medical workers and the baby, are believed to have been killed in the crash on Friday evening, though there is not yet any official word on casualties.

The Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopter came down "in the wider area" of Belgrade airport, the defence ministry said. "The control tower lost contact with the helicopter at 22.31," it said.

UN court: Serbia and Croatia did not commit genocide

The UN's highest court has ruled that neither Croatia nor Serbia committed genocide against each other's populations during the Balkan wars that followed the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

The ICJ ruled neither Croatia nor Serbia committed genocide. Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Peter Tomka, president of the International Court of Justice, said many crimes had been committed by both countries' forces during the conflict.

However, the intent to commit genocide - by "destroying a population in whole or in part" - had not been proven against either country, he added.


Serbia and Albania to be charged over Euro 2016 abandonment

Both Serbia and Albania are set to be charged by UEFA on Wednesday following the abandonment of their Euro 2016 qualifier.

There was fighting on the pitch in Belgrade which started when a pro-Albania flag was pulled from a drone flying over the pitch by Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic.

Stefan Mitrovic pulled down the banner. Credit: Reuters

Martin Atkinson, the referee, took the teams off the pitch and called the game off when items were thrown onto the turf.

UEFA president Michel Platini labelled the scenes "inexcusable".

The Frenchman said in a statement: "Football is supposed to bring people together and our game should not be mixed with politics of any kind. The scenes in Belgrade last night were inexcusable."

Serbian authorities clear towns as river swells

A woman reacts as she walks near a house tilted by floods in the village of Krupanj, west from Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica

Serbian emergency services have cleared 12 towns and villages along the banks of the raging Sava river, including one where soldiers, police and volunteers have been working around the clock to protect the country's main power plant, Reuters has reported.

Entire towns and villages are underwater, thousands of hills have crumpled into landslides and tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

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