Romania beat Kosovo in match suspended after Serbia chants

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Romania beat Kosovo 2-0 in a Euro 2024 qualifier that was suspended on Tuesday for just under an hour after Romanian fans repeatedly shouted pro-Serbia chants.

The game in Bucharest was stopped in the 18th minute after some of the crowd chanted “Serbia Serbia” and a player confronted people in the stands displaying a sign saying “Kosovo is Serbia”, with the referee sending the players back to the changing rooms.

“The match has resumed after play was suspended due to discriminatory behaviour from some supporters,” UEFA said on their website after an interruption of 50 minutes.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and won recognition from more than 100 countries, but not from Romania.

The game restarted and, shortly before the break, Kosovo’s Vedat Muriqi was sent off for a second yellow card after a foul on midfielder Vladimir Screciu.

The Romanians capitalised in the second half with goals from Nicolae Stanciu in the 83rd minute and Valentin Mihaila in stoppage time.

The victory moved Romania into second place in Group I with 12 points, two points behind leaders Switzerland. Kosovo dropped to fifth place.

Kosovo team leaves the pitch as the main referee Willy Delajod (not pictured), from France, temporarily interrupts the UEFA Euro 2024 group I qualifying soccer match between Romania and Kosovo held at National Arena Stadium in Bucharest, Romania, 12 September 2023, due to the Romanian supporters behavior . EPA-EFE/Robert Ghement

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