I should have attended the Illinois State Cup Final at the home of the Chicago Fire, Toyota Park, last Friday:
CHICAGO — A football game between Croat and Serb expatriates in Chicago was interrupted when Serb and Albanian fans started a fight.
The Sunday match between Croat Adria and United Serbs teams was stopped in the 40th minute because of crowd trouble when Serb and Albanians fans clashed in the crowd.
The incident reportedly occurred when Serb fans started chanting “Serbia, Serbia”, as the Albanians spread their national flag and chanted “Independent Kosovo” in response.
After that , the two camps began hurling bottles at each other.
A child in the crowd and a Serb player in the field have reportedly been hit by flying bottles.
The stadium management decided to stop the match to avoid further clashes, Croatian Radio Dalmacija reported on Sunday
Chicago is well known for its ethnic cleavages, and such a combustible incident is perhaps not entirely unsurprising given the recent history of the former Yugoslavia. Free admission and free parking suggests the authorities may not have entirely realised what they were getting themselves into. But then, maybe they also didn’t expect a bunch of Albanians to show up with a national flag at a soccer game. I’ll be making some calls to try and find out more about what exactly went on.