Serbia to appeal UEFA decision

Serbia will appeal UEFA's decision to dock them three points and fine them €100,000 for their part in the abandoned fixture with Albania.

The Euro 2016 Group I qualifier between the two sides in Belgrade took place among a fractious political backdrop, and was abandoned shortly before half-time when a drone carrying a flag featuring Albanian national symbols entered the stadium and hovered over the pitch.

Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic attempted to pull the flag down, which sparked an angry reaction from opposition players, with supporters invading the field as the situation escalated.

Referee Martin Atkinson abandoned the game and UEFA issued a statement on Friday declaring that Serbia had been handed a 3-0 walkover result, but had also been deducted three points.

Both sides were fined €100,000, while Serbia were also ordered to play their next two home qualifiers behind closed doors.

After receiving the punishment, the Serbian Football Association (FSS) announced their intention to appeal UEFA's ruling, citing perceived inconsistency after they were previously punished in the wake of a Euro 2012 qualifier against Italy in Genoa being abandoned due to crowd trouble.

"At today's meeting of the Board for Emergency Matters all the aspects of the decision were deliberated on the basis of regulations and facts the FA of Serbia submitted in the written brief to the members of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Committee," an FSS statement read.

"It was mutually agreed and decided that the FA of Serbia will use its right to an appeal against the decision to the UEFA Appeals Committee.

"Some of the basic reasons for these decisions are as follows: 

"Contradiction in the decision-making process - the match is registered 3-0 in favour of Serbia, whilst the deduction of points was ordered against our national team only.

"Lack of principles in comparison with the decisions of the same body - UEFA Control and Disciplinary Committee after the "Genoa case".

"It was established then that the match organiser [Italian FA] was not guilty for incidents and all the sanctions [match was registered with 3-0 in favour of Italy, match before an emptied stadium and fine] were aimed at the opponent [FA of Serbia].

"Now by registering the match by 3-0 in favour of Serbia the guilt and responsibility of the opposing side was confirmed, and all the other decisions contravene it, and are to the detriment of the FA of Serbia.

"We expected that all the UEFA bodies' decisions would be fair and equally applied at any competition step. Namely, the question is, what would have happened if this was a play-off match, would the points be deducted then?"