UAV Dangles Flag Over Soccer Match Before Riot Breaks Out


A flag-toting unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) recently appeared over a professional soccer game at Partizan Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia, before a violent riot broke out and caused the match to be called off.

During the 41st minute of the UEFA EURO 2016 Group I qualifier between Serbia and Albania on the night of Oct. 14, a UAV with a dangling flag entered the field from outside the stadium, according to a release from the Football Association of Serbia.

The flag – showing a depiction of “Great Albania,” which the association says is offensive to citizens of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece – was attached to what appears to be a DJI Phantom, as seen in YouTube footage.

Reuters reports that after a Serbian team member retrieved the flag from the device, some of the Albanian team came after him; what followed was a violent riot involving the players and the fans, who even launched flares.

According to Reuters, the brother of Albania’s Prime Minister, Olsi Rama, was the suspected UAV operator and was arrested at the already “politically sensitive” game. The Football Association of Serbia claims in the release that the appearance of the object was a “well-planned political diversion.”

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