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“After the goal all hell broke loose.” Albanian fans ruined Poland’s 2022 World Cup qualifying victory

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 10:22:17

The Polish team will play the next qualifying match for Euro 2024 and their rival will be the Albanians. Three years ago (in October 2021), a match between these teams was marred by scandal.

Albanian fans throw bottles at Polish players

Then the teams fought for a place at the World Championship in Qatar. England led the group, while the Poles and Albanians fought for second place and a ticket to the play-offs. The spectators at the Air Albania stadium immediately made it clear: it would not be easy for the guests here. The fans booed the Polish anthem and in the 77th minute it caught the attention of the entire football world in a different way.

Poland came to Albania as favorites, but scored just 13 minutes before the end of regulation time. The guests ran to celebrate, but they chose the worst place to do so: next to the stands of active Albanian fans. Angry fans threw glasses, bottles and other small debris at the players. This does not mean that it is a rare case in football. However, I was surprised by the magnitude of the madness: I had the feeling that almost every second person in the stands was attacking the Poles.

“Scoring a goal in a crowded visiting stadium is a special feeling,” Karol Swiderski, scorer of that same goal, said after the game. – Of course, I will remember this event. However, I also had some unpleasant impressions. This behavior of the fans is partly my fault. “I stood on the Albanian podium unnecessarily, but it was dictated by excessive emotions.”

Piotr Zieliński

Poland national team midfielder

“It was the first time I saw something like this. Fans threw bottles filled with water. You understand how dangerous this is for your health. Fortunately, the bottle did not reach any of us.”

“I got blown up by a lighter that I took with me,” Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny joked after the game. — They wrote that I drank from a bottle that the Albanians threw, but that is not the case. They opened it and when she landed on the grass it was already half empty.”

The match resumed after 20 minutes, Poland held on and won

French referee Clément Turpin stopped the match and players from both teams left the field. At the same time, the Albanians clearly wanted to continue the game, and the Poles hoped to do so after a short break.

“The atmosphere was increasingly tense,” said Jakub Kwiatkowski, press attaché for the Polish team. — Before the game, fans booed our anthem and then threw bottles at the players. After Svidersky’s goal, all hell broke loose. They threw away not one, not two, but about 200 bottles. “What are you doing? Why are you leaving the field? Why don’t you want to play? Are you scared?” – Albanian footballers asked us these questions. It was hot because the owners’ expectations did not correspond to the real situation. However, we wanted to finish the game. Nobody expected the Albanians to suffer a technical defeat. Yes, we have had to play in extreme conditions before, but I have never seen anything like this.”

Consequences of the behavior of Albanian fans

Photo: PressFocus/Getty Images

When the Poles left the field, the Albanian fans chanted insultingly. The stadium announcer warned that if the fans continued with the same spirit, no one would restart the match. The match was interrupted for about 20 minutes, but they still finished the game. The Poles won 1:0 and rose to second place in the group. However, the home fans did not calm down even after the final whistle. Several more bottles flew towards the Polish players during the post-match interview.

“These are real barbarians, stadium bandits,” thundered former Polish goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski. — I hope that FIFA applies a serious punishment. Albania must play the match without fans. Otherwise, a scenario will appear with the spirit of “if everything is allowed to you, so is we.” “I don’t remember anyone acting like that in recent years.”

In the summer, the Poles suffered a sensational defeat in qualifying for Euro 2024:

It seemed that Lewandowski’s second goal gave Poland the victory. But Moldova performed a miracle.

After the match, Sportowe Fakty contacted a Polish fan who lives in Tirana. She watched the raucous match from the stadium, where she sat surrounded by Albanian spectators. “I didn’t feel any danger during the game,” the girl said. “I sat there wearing a Poland national team shirt and people smiled and took photos with me. A sector is responsible for what happened. It was located not far from the Polish fans. The fans were biting each other throughout the game, and after the goal the situation got worse. In fact, this happens very rarely here.”

The Albanians accused the Poles of provocations, but it was the owners who were punished

After the match, the Albanian Football Federation issued a press release: “The match exposed problems that must be resolved as soon as possible. This behavior does not sit well with Albania or our fans. We need to draw conclusions from all of this from an organizational perspective. There were 22,000 fans in the stadium and just a dozen people overshadowed all the good that had been done. One thing we know for sure: we don’t have violent fans. The previous behavior of the Albanian fans was a source of pride. The behavior in the last match was the result of constant provocations from Polish fans. During almost the entire game they threw various objects at both sectors with our fans. Poles are known for this behavior and the organizers did everything possible to avoid such incidents. “We are not shirking our responsibilities, but we have to face the truth.”

This statement was commented by the press attaché of the Polish team, Kwiatkowski: “The Albanians booed our anthem. Is this a provocation to Polish fans or what? A month ago in Warsaw, during the Albanian anthem, our fans applauded. In Tirana we were not far from our sector. So the Albanians threw bottles there, showed the middle finger and constantly harassed our fans. What do you call this behavior?

As a result, the Albanian Football Federation was fined 160,000 euros and the national team played the next home match against Andorra without spectators. Polish football officials described the punishment as harsh but fair. But now everything will be calm? Or not?

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22 RPL legionnaires have been called up for the qualifying matches for Euro 2024. Who will have super matches?

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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