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French president apologizes over Albania national anthem mix-up

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-09-09 11:11

France's President Emmanuel Macron gives a press conference in Biarritz, France on Aug 26, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

TIRANA -- French President Emmanuel Macron sent an apology message to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama for a national anthem mix-up ahead of a football match on Saturday evening, Rama tweeted on Sunday.

"President Macron expressed his sincere apologies for the scandalous gaffe of the French Football Federation, with our anthem of National Flag! He called it an 'unacceptable mistake'," Rama posted on Twitter.

According to Rama, in his message the French president appreciated the reaction of Albania's national football team players and asked Rama to make his apology public.

The wrong anthem was played for the Albanian team before the European Qualifier match kicked off in State de France in Paris Saturday evening.

The Albanian football fans and players were expecting to hear their national anthem called "Himni i Flamurit" (National Flag) prior to the start of the game, but the national anthem of Andorra was played by mistake by the organizers, which puzzled the Albanian players.

To make things worse, when the Albanian national anthem was about to play the stadium announced that "please respect the Armenia national anthem."

The match was delayed by seven minutes in the end.

Another public apology was offered by the coach of France, Didier Deschamps, who confirmed this at a press conference after the match.

Albania lost 1-4 against the French national team. On Sept 10 Albania will be at home to the national team of Iceland in central Albania's Elbasan Arena stadium.

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