Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Saturday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Paris between Albania and France was delayed for 10 minutes after the stadium crew used the wrong national anthem for the visiting team, who were disrespected by the mistake and refused to take the field until the right song was played. Can’t be mixing up those “A” countries.

Albania’s players immediately knew something was amiss when the sound system started piping in “El Gran Carlemany,” the national anthem of Andorra. To be charitable to the person who hit the play button, France actually will play a qualifier against Andorra on Tuesday, so it wasn’t a totally random choice—just an incorrect one.


Albania’s actual national anthem is “Himni i Flamurit,” and sounds like this:

The gaffe got worse when the stadium announcer reportedly apologized to “Armenia.” Wrong again! After his squad’s 4-1 victory, France coach Didier Deschamps apologized to the Albanians, and understood why they’d be mad enough to delay the match.

Here are all the countries that begin and end with the letter “A”: Australia, Austria, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, and Armenia. The French went 0-for-2, but may this list help you in a future round of bar trivia.

H/t to Ben

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