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Wrong anthem played for Albania before match against France

September 7, 2019
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Referees and Albania's soccer team stand during Albania's national anthem, after the wrong one was playing, during of the Euro 2020 group H qualifying soccer match between France and Albania at the Stade de France in Saint Denis, north of Paris, France, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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Referees and Albania's soccer team stand during Albania's national anthem, after the wrong one was playing, during of the Euro 2020 group H qualifying soccer match between France and Albania at the Stade de France in Saint Denis, north of Paris, France, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — In an embarrassing mix-up, the wrong national anthem was played for Albania before it faced France in a European Championship qualifier on Saturday.

Players looked bemused as they realized it was the wrong anthem — Andorra’s, according to UEFA’s website — with camera images showing angry Albanian fans making offensive gestures in protest at the error.

France coach Didier Deschamps spoke with Albania coach Edoardo Reja as referee Jesús Gil Manzano waited several minutes for the right anthem to be played at Stade de France before starting the game — which was delayed by nearly 10 minutes.

Then, when the correct anthem was about to be played there was another embarrassing incident as the stadium announcer apologized to “Armenia’s fans” and called on fans to respect the “Armenia national anthem” before realizing his glaring mistake and saying Albania.

France’s next opponent is Andorra at home on Tuesday.

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