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Controversial chants disrupt Romania vs Kosovo

In a stunning turn of events, the UEFA European Qualifiers match pitting Romania against Kosovo was abruptly halted in the 18th minute, as Romanian fans unleashed chants that left both teams and officials in disbelief. The National Arena in Bucharest bore witness to a contentious display that ultimately forced the hand of French referee Delajod.

The fervent Romanian ultras, renowned for their passionate support, chanted the incendiary phrase, "Kosovo is Serbia," a sentiment that has long fueled tensions in the Balkans. This provocative message wasn't limited to vocalization alone; it was prominently displayed on a banner unfurled in the stands, further inflaming the situation. To emphasize their point, Romanian fans chanted "Serbia Serbia Serbia" repeatedly, leaving no room for doubt regarding their rejection of Kosovo's sovereignty. Officially, Romania does not recognize Kosovo, further underlining the sensitivity of the chants during the match.

Referee Delajod found himself with no option but to suspend the match, ushering both teams back to their respective dressing rooms, and the National Arena fell into an eerie silence.

After an almost hour-long hiatus, the match finally resumed. Romania emerged victorious with a 2-0 win over Kosovo, courtesy of goals from Stanciu and Mihaila. This crucial victory propels Romania into second place within the group, trailing behind Switzerland.

Nonetheless, the repercussions of the controversial chants are far from resolved. The Romanian Football Federation (FRF) now faces the impending wrath of UEFA. Sanctions are looming, with potential fines reaching up to 100,000 euros.

This incident marks yet another blot on Romania's record during the ongoing European Qualifiers campaign. They previously incurred a 15,000 euro fine for similar chants during a match against Belarus. UEFA's resolve to eradicate such behavior and uphold the principles of fair play and respect in the sport is abundantly clear.

Moreover, Romania may find itself playing their next two games behind closed doors. These crucial qualifiers will be held against Andorra on October 15 and Switzerland on November 21, underlining the gravity of the situation and the measures UEFA is willing to take to ensure a more inclusive and respectful atmosphere in football.

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