In today’s UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier match between France and Albania at Saint-Denis, the hosts were left embarassed as the Stade de France stadium crew mistakenly played the national anthem of Andorra, causing the visitors to feel disdained and declining to start the game.
‘Hymni I Flamurit’ – Albania’s national anthem, was replaced with ‘El Gran Carlemany’, the national anthem of France’s small neighbours. Utterly surprised, the Shqiponjat players got confused about the whole situation.
Watch the clip of the incident below, uploaded on Twitter by Timothy Burke.
France-Albania UEFA qualifier delayed after French play Andorran national anthem instead of Albanian, enraging Albania & leading them to refuse to start the match until the proper anthem was played pic.twitter.com/Qr3oT9rSpN
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 7, 2019
Mixing up the national anthem is very disrespectful to a country, and in football, there have been victims before. South Korea’s national anthem was replaced with their neighbour North Korea’s, and the anthem of Chile was played instead of Uruguay’s in the 2016 Copa America tournament.
After a delay of 7 minutes, the game finally kicked off after an apology by the match announcer, not to Albania but ARMENIA, and ended with Les Bleus thrashing them 4-1, as if the previous blunders weren’t enough embarrassment.
Bayern Munich midfielder Kinsley Coman scored a brace, along with Chelsea front man Olivier Giroud and Lille’s Nanitamo Ikone both securing one goals each.
Sokol Cikalleshi was the solo consolation scorer for the away team, as the forward netted one in from the spot in the 90th minute.