A drone carrying a political banner causes soccer fight that shuts down game

While most quadcopter users are happy enough attaching cameras to their flying machines to capture what they hope’ll be some stunning aerial footage, one bright spark thought he’d attach a political banner to his and fly it over a soccer field during an international game between two countries for whom relations have traditionally been tense. The result? A mass brawl between the two sides that caused the game to be abandoned.

The incident (shown below) took place Tuesday night in the Serbian capital of Belgrade during a European Championship qualifying match between Serbia and Albania.

The match, which saw crowd trouble outside the stadium prior to kick-off, was always going to be a highly charged affair. There’s a long-running tension between the two nations, primarily over Kosovo, a province with an Albanian majority that declared independence from Serbia six years ago. The game was also the Albanian national team’s first visit to Belgrade in 47 years. In a failed effort to ensure the match passed off without incident, UEFA, which oversees European soccer, banned visiting fans from entering the stadium.


The remotely operated quadcopter buzzed over the field in the 41st minute of the game carrying a pro-Albanian banner on the end of a long piece of string. As the drone descended, Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic managed to grab the banner, but as he started to wrap it up, angry Albanian players piled in.

The situation descended into a messy brawl as match officials and players from the bench joined the melee. When Serbian fans started to throw objects at the Albanian players, the visiting team ran for cover. Hardly surprisingly, the game was abandoned a short time later.

Serbian state media later reported that Olsi Rama, the brother of Albanian leader Edi Rama, had been arrested after it was alleged that he’d been behind the stunt, operating the banner-carrying quadcopter from one of the stadium’s VIP boxes.

While the incident is unlikely to herald the beginning of a drone-powered banner-waving trend at sports events, it suggests that this relatively new technology still has plenty more surprises up its sleeve.

Oh, and for those interested, the quadcopter at the center of Tuesday night’s incident appears to be a DJI Phantom 2 machine.

[Source: Washington Post]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

From the beta to dark zones, here's everything we know about The Division 2

The Division 2, the sequel to Ubisoft's most successful new franchise, arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 15. The Division 2 has a new setting, interesting new systems, and much more. Here's everything we know about The Division 2.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Movies & TV

Hilarious new Kickstarter aims to fix Scorcese’s last scene in The Departed

A fan of The Departed and apparent hater of rat-as-symbolism imagery has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally erase the rodent from the end of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 movie.
Emerging Tech

Baristas beware, Bbox cafe uses robots to brew your morning coffee

Want your morning coffee and pastry prepared by robot? Bbox, a new coffee shop in downtown Berkeley, California, lets customers place their order by app and then uses automation to take care of the rest.
Emerging Tech

This ridiculous new flamethrower makes Elon Musk’s look like a cigarette lighter

The XL18 Flamethrower is a flame-shooting beast on steroids, capable of firing off bursts of flame more than 110 feet in length. The best part? You can order it over the internet today.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX just nailed its most challenging Falcon 9 rocket landing to date

If you've been following the SpaceX launch calendar, you know this week marks the first launch from Cape Canaveral in two months. We have the details on where you can watch the launch live.
Emerging Tech

Touchdown! Japan successfully lands its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on asteroid Ryugu

Japan's space agency has just completed the latest stage of its extraordinarily complex mission, successfully landing its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on an asteroid millions of miles from Earth.
Emerging Tech

Delivery drones: NASA to test advanced traffic control system for cities

Delivery drone services are edging closer as NASA prepares to demonstrate its advanced drone traffic management system, which it claims offers safe and effective control of autonomous aircraft in urban areas.
Emerging Tech

Kickstarter campaign aims to help make 3D-printed space habitats for Mars

Mars X-House is an ambitious project that's intended to create a prototype future Mars habitat using 3D printing. And, thanks to a new Kickstarter campaign, you can be a part of it.
Emerging Tech

Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword

How do you give new life to a 30-year-old computer? Software engineer Mike Kohn found a way by transforming his old Apple IIe into a wheeled robot. Check it out in all its 1980s glory.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic completes another test flight, this time with a passenger

Virgin Galactic chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses rode the company's spacecraft as a passenger on Friday, a key milestone toward commercial availability of the flights later this year. Moses rode along to test "cabin design elements."
Emerging Tech

Controversial CRISPR baby experiment may have resulted in brain enhancements

China’s CRISPR baby saga continues to rage on. Scientists have now expressed concerns that the procedure may have also resulted in changes in the babies’ brains affecting cognition.