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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The European Handball Federation has suspended a tournament in Serbia after the Balkan host declined to play Kosovo and then prevented its rival from playing any games.

EHF said on Saturday that the women’s under-20 World Championship qualification tournament was canceled after authorities cited security concerns to ban all matches involving Kosovo, saying they feared clashes with nationalist fans opposed to Kosovo’s independence.

On Friday, Serbia was thrown out of the tournament by EHF for calling off a match between Serbia and Kosovo. After Serbia said that none of Kosovo’s games could go ahead, EHF canceled the tournament.

Serbia does not recognize the 2008 declaration of independence by its former province, which is populated mostly by ethnic Albanians.

EHF said Serbia had banned matches between Kosovo and Norway on Saturday, and Kosovo versus Slovakia on Sunday. Only one match — between Norway and Slovakia — was actually played.

The decision to call off the tournament was “a result of interventions by government authorities in Serbia,” EHF said.

Serbia’s handball federation said in a statement on Saturday that it “fully respects the decisions by the (Serbian) state authorities” regarding the tournament.

The statement added that all the teams have left the venue in Kovilovo, outside the capital of Belgrade.

The event was to be held behind closed doors, with no media access and without national symbols because of tensions over Kosovo’s independence.

Nevertheless, dozens of far-right fans had protested Kosovo’s participation in the tournament.

EHF says the remaining qualifiers for the July 1-15 World Championship in Hungary are yet to be rescheduled.