“It was a bit dangerous,” admitted Robert Lewandowski after the World Cup qualifying match in Tirana, where the Polish players won against Albania 1:0. The meeting was stopped for about 20 minutes due to the bad behaviour of the fans. It turns out that this is not the first such situation on the line of Albanian-Polish football contacts. A few years ago, an Albanian football fan hit a Legia Warsaw player over the head with a stone.
Karol Świderski’s goal scored in the 77th minute gave the red-and-white team a 1-0 victory, very important in the context of the fight for promotion to the World Cup in Qatar. A moment later, various objects (bottles, phones and other objects) started to be thrown at the Polish players, who were enjoying themselves at the backline of the pitch. Both teams walked off the field to the locker room. The game resumed after about 20 minutes.
“The referee wondered whether to stop the match. Full bottles were flying. It was a little dangerous, but we got back in the game and finished the meeting,” – Lewandowski said in an interview for TVP.
The Bayern Munich striker admitted the referee had a “tough decision” and there was “a bit of minimalism” in the Polish team when it became clear the game had to be finished.
“We scored a goal; we had the match under control. Task completed, three points scored,” – he assessed.
Meanwhile, Albanian media explain that it was Karol Swiderski who provoked the fans by scoring the goal. In addition to bringing the match to a halt, the home team’s supporters also “shined” earlier. Even before the game, hooligans attacked Polish fans and then the whole stadium whistled for the Polish anthem.
As journalist Pawel Mogielnicki reminded on Twitter, a similar situation has occurred in the past.
“Albanian football, however, is recording progress. The match between Kukësi and Legia six years ago in the same place (although in a different stadium) ended in the 52nd minute (stone to Ondrej Duda’s head). This time the Albanians lasted until the 78th minute,”
– he wrote with a wince.
On 30 July 2015, Legia played the first game of the third round of the Europa League qualifiers away. Things got heated as early as the 29th minute when Serbian-born Hungarian representative Nemanja Nikolic ran along with the near stand with a gesture to silence the fans after scoring.
In the 49th minute, the hosts equalised and the local fans went into ecstasy. This one lasted only two minutes and after Jakub Rzeźniczak’s goal objects flew from the stands. Including the rock that hit Ondrej Duda in the head. The Swiss referee, fearing for the safety of Legia’s players, ended the meeting then. UEFA verified it as a 3:0 walkover for Legia. In the case of the Albania – Poland match, there is no question of a walk-over, because the meeting was completed.