The Uefa chief of press Pedro Pinto in exclusive Calciomercato.it
UEFA PINTO SERBIA ALBANIA / ROME - Many have pointed at Uefa for being too naif to say the least in letting Serbia-Albania taking place in Belgrade. But to be fair, nobody before or right after the draw, nor in the eve of the game, had said anything about preventing this game from being played. Moreover, the pretty recent Serbia-Croatia - obviously tense, but nowhere near from being called off - demonstrated that there was nothing against a safe organization.
But aside opinions, there are some objective criteria taken under consideration by Uefa when it must be decided if a game can take place in a certain venue. Criteria rigorously applied, and each of them have been fulfilled until the game was played.
The Uefa chief of press Pedro Pinto explain us in exclusive the procedure:
"There are various factors taken into account when deciding if teams should be kept apart in a draw, such as :
- Has such a request been made by any of the concerned national associations
- Is there an ongoing armed conflict between two such countries
- Are there diplomatic relations between two such countries
Based on the above, the matter is then analyzed and decided upon by the UEFA Executive Committee.
In the case of Serbia and Albania, none of the two national associations had requested to be kept apart, there is no ongoing armed conflict between the two countries and there are diplomatic relations between the two countries. There was therefore no reason to prevent them from being drawn against each other.
Nevertheless, once the draw was made, the Serbian FA and Albanian FA agreed not to take their own supporters to their respective away match as a preventive measure. This agreement was fully supported by UEFA".