Romania's victory over Kosovo (2-0) this Tuesday evening in Bucharest, as part of the Euro 2024 qualifiers, was the scene of very sad scenes. “Kosovo is Serbia,” chanted Romanian supporters after less than 20 minutes of play. Inappropriate remarks also accompanied by banners insulting the Kosovar players. The latter immediately left the pitch to return to the locker room.
The hostility between the two countries is not new. The latter is explained by the fact that Romania is one of the five members of the European Union not to recognize Kosovo, which obtained its independence in 2008, even if the republic is not a member of the UN. Tensions are still particularly strong with Serbia, a territory of which Kosovo was part until its independence. French referee Willy Delajod decided to suspend the match in the 21st minute, when the Kosovar players headed to the locker room.
During the interruption, several actors went to the ultras to try to calm them, like the Romanian captain Nicolae Stanciu or the president of the federation Razvan Burleanu. “Due to the discriminatory behavior of the supporters, the match was suspended,” UEFA initially announced. More information will follow soon.” The stadium announcer also intervened several times to try to restore calm.
The match was finally able to resume after a 50-minute interruption, with the threat of a definitive end to the match in the event of a new incident in the stands, without an evacuation finally taking place. At the break, seven yellow cards and one red card had already been distributed. Romania finally won in the very last minutes with goals from Stanciu (83rd) and Mihaila (90th) and placed second in Group I with 12 points. Kosovo is penultimate with only 4 points.