Soccer-Italy-Albania match interrupted after away fans set off firecrackers

Reuters

PALERMO, Italy, March 24 (Reuters) - Italy's World Cup qualifier at home to Albania was interrupted early in the second half on Friday when visiting fans set off firecrackers.

With a cloud of smoke hanging over the pitch, the referee led the players off the field. Albanian players appealed to their supporters for calm and the match was resumed after a break of around 10 minutes.

There was also trouble in the first half of the Group G game when Italy were awarded a penalty and two firecrackers were thrown onto the pitch, forcing Daniele De Rossi to wait before he took the kick.

De Rossi eventually converted to give Italy a 12th minute lead. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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