AP NEWS

Macron apologizes to Albania on wrong anthem at soccer game

September 8, 2019
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)
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)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s prime minister says French President Emmanuel Macron has apologized to him after the wrong national anthem was played ahead of a European Championship qualifier between the two countries on Saturday.

Edi Rama tweeted Sunday that Macron expressed “his sincere apology for the scandalous gaffe of the French Football Federation with our National Flag anthem!”

France won the Group H game in Paris 4-1.

Albanian players looked bemused — and fans angry — when Andorra’s anthem was played instead of Albania’s. Andorra is in the same qualifying group as France and Albania.

The start of the match at Stade de France was delayed for about 10 minutes, and the right anthem then played.

Another incident occurred when the stadium announcer mixed up Armenia — which is not in the same group — with Albania.

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

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