A highly-charged Euro 2016 qualifier between Albania and Serbia had to be abandoned Tuesday night after a Serbian player wrenched a flag from a plane being flown by remote control over the pitch, causing chaos on the field and in the stands.

With the score goalless in the 41st minute, defender Stefan Mitrovic leapt to grab the flag -- emblazoned with a map of Kosovo, and the message "autochthonous" -- leading to fighting between players and team officials from both sides. 

Meanwhile, supporters in the stands of Belgrade's Partizan Stadium erupted. Some ran onto the pitch, throwing punches and attacking Albanian players with plastic chairs, while others started to brawl with riot police in the stands.

The Albanian players left the pitch soon after under a hail of missiles.

Away supporters were barred from the game -- the Albanian football team's first visit to the Serbian capital since 1967, which was played against a highly sensitive political backdrop given long-running tensions between the two countries over Kosovo. 

The southeastern European state declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. It has a majority ethnic Albanian population.

The abandonement is likely to lead to severe repercussions from football's governing body UEFA, who are now reported to be looking into the matter.

Anadolu Agency