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Albania condemn 'extremist acts' by fans during match with Italy

TIRANA, Albania -- Albania's football federation has strongly denounced the incident that halted the World Cup Group G qualifier with Italy for nearly nine minutes on Saturday.

During the match, which was won by Italy 2-0, a group calling itself Illyrian Elite threw flares onto the pitch which created a cloud of smoke.

"Such totally extremist actions from the grouping Illyrian Elite have nothing to do with the excellent Albanian fans" who were distinguished in the Euro 2016 finals in France for their friendship and camaraderie in their festivities, the statement added.

The federation said Albania coach Gianni De Biasi also was "upset by the flares," adding that during five years he has been in charge "I've seen something that's never happened before."

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