Serbia's flags and "Kosovo is Serbia" chants during soccer game in Plzeň

NEWS 14.11.2019 23:28
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Source: Tanjug/AP, Petr David Josek

The EURO 2020 qualifying soccer match between the Czech Republic and Kosovo national teams in Plzeň was marked by incidents, including Serbia's flags in the stadium and home team supporters chants "Kosovo is still Serbia" despite warnings by Prague's authorities to the audience to avoid UEFA punishment for political messages during the match, the Beta news agency reported.

The die-hard supporters of the local Plzeň team waved Serbia’s flags during the playing of Kosovo national anthem, and in the 18th minute of the match chanted „Kosovo is still Serbia,“ local media reported.

The home team won 2-1.

Another incident happened near the Kosovo supporters’ hotel when local fans attacked the guests. The police intervened and arrested 20 Czech’s supporters.

Czech authorities took severe security measures to prevent the expected incidents, including the ban on foreign insignia in the stadium. However, some of Serbia’s flags were smuggled in.

The tickets were also hard to get, and the police were reinforced with cavalry.

Czech President Milos Zeman said last September that Prague might reconsider its recognition of Kosovo’s independence in the near future. Other officials said it would be difficult but not impossible.