THE Albania captain Lorik Cana (pic) believes it was â€œa miracleâ€ none of his teamâ€™s players were seriously injured in the violent scenes which caused the Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade to be abandoned on Tuesday.
Uefa has charged the Serbian and Albanian Football Associations after the brawl involving players, supporters and stewards was sparked by a drone carrying the insignia of so-called â€œGreater Albaniaâ€, with the governing body expected to enforce heavy sanctions.
Albaniaâ€™s players were forced to flee the pitch after some fans breached security and made it on to the pitch. Speaking to French newspaper Lâ€™Equipe, Cana â€“ who was captured tackling a supporter on the pitch in video footage â€“ believes he and his team-mates had a lucky escape.
â€œItâ€™s a miracle that we only had six or seven injured with blows to the face, neck and back,â€ he said. â€œIf you saw some of the bodiesâ€¦ they really caught it. What would have happened if instead of a chair, it had been a knife? Our lives were in danger.â€
The former Sunderland midfielder who now plays for Italian side Lazio also accused stewards of attacking the players once they had reached the safety of the tunnel.
Serbia were formally charged by Uefa with setting off fireworks, crowd disturbance, a pitch invasion, â€œinsufficient organisationâ€ and the use of a laser pen.
Albania were charged with refusing to play and â€œthe display of an illicit bannerâ€. The Serbia and Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic said his side wanted to play on but their Albanian opponents were â€œunfit physically and mentallyâ€ to return to the field. – The Independent