Football chiefs condemn Serbia-Albania violence

World football boss Sepp Blatter and Uefa president Michel Platini on Wednesday strongly condemned the violent scenes that forced a Serbia-Albania football international match to be abandoned.

Football chiefs condemn Serbia-Albania violence
Platini: "Saddened by events". Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

 Platini called the politically-charged violence in Belgrade "inexcusable", while Blatter said football should never be used to make political messages.
Players from the two sides clashed on Tuesday after a drone carrying a pro-Albanian flag was flown over the Belgrade stadium where the two sides were playing a qualifier for the 2016 European Championships.
Platini "is deeply saddened by the events in Belgrade last night," Uefa spokesman Pedro Pinto said.
"Football is supposed to bring people together and our game should not be mixed with politics of any kind,"  the spokesman quoted Platini as saying.

"The scenes in Belgrade last night were inexcusable."

Uefa, the European football body headquartered in Nyon in the Swiss canton of Vaud, was expected to formally open an investigation into the events on Wednesday after studying reports from the match referee and coordinator.

"Football should never be used for political messages," said Blatter, president of Zurich-based Fifa.

"I strongly condemn what happened in Belgrade last night."

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‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said.