Denmark under pressure as CAS reverses controversial drone decision

Match against Albania in September even more critical now

When Denmark takes on Albania in the Euro 2016 Group I qualifier on September 4, there will be a lot more at stake than the Danes had previously believed.

That’s because the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reversed Europe’s football governing body UEFA’s decision regarding the controversial match involving Albania and Serbia played in Belgrade last October 14.

The match was suspended after a drone carrying an Albanian flag flew into the stadium and sparked a violent crowd invasion.

UEFA subsequently awarded Serbia an  automatic 3-0 win but still stripped the Serbs three points due to the crowd trouble. But after both nations appealed the decision to CAS, the court has now overturned the UEFA decision and awarded the Albanians a 3-0 win, and a vital three extra points which puts them level with Denmark with 10 points with a game in hand.

“It’s a complicated case, but to me the decision is baffling, unfair and not sportingly correct,” said Denmark’s head coach Morten Olsen.

“But every team must do its job. We can still decide it ourselves but, clearly, the road to France has become more difficult. We have to assume that we must win the three remaining matches. Things can change, but that’s how we must look at it for now.”

READ MORE: Balkan surprise package blocks Denmark’s road to France

Nearly sold out already
The Danes can at least look forward to some vocal support in Parken Stadium when surprise package Albania comes to Copenhagen in September. The game is already close to being sold out with 31,236 tickets purchased.

Denmark face Albania (home) Armenia (away) and Portugal (away) in their final three games, while the Albanians take on Denmark (away), Portugal (away), Serbia (home) and Armenia (away) in their final four matches.

Portugal lead Group I with 12 points from five games, followed by Denmark (10 from five) and Albania (10 from four). The top two from each group automatically qualify for Euro 2016 in France, as does the best third-placed team out of the nine groups. The remaining eight third-placed teams enter into a playoff to qualify.