A banner reading "Kosovo is Serbia" is unfurled at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest ©Getty Images

Kosovan players stormed off the pitch in their clash with Romania after hearing spectators chanting "Kosovo is Serbia".

The qualifier for the men’s UEFA European Championship was temporarily stopped in the 18th minute following the chants from a section of Romanian fans at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest.

French referee Willy Delajod told the players to leave the field before the match resumed 50 minutes later.

UEFA said that the match had been interrupted due to "discriminatory behaviour".

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

But Serbia continues to view Kosovo as an autonomous part of its own country, and there is division in the international community over its recognition.

Following the disturbance, Romania went on to win the match 2-0 courtesy of goals from Nicolae Stanciu and Valentin Mihăilă in the closing 10 minutes.

The victory leaves Romania in second position in Group I - two points behind leaders Switzerland.

The top two will qualify for the tournament, with four matches remaining.

Mihai Stoichiță, technical director for the Romanian Football Federation (FRF), said he feared that they would be handed a heavy punishment from UEFA.

Romania's Valentin Mihăilă, right, celebrates scoring in the 2-0 home win over Kosovo ©Getty Images
Romania's Valentin Mihăilă, right, celebrates scoring in the 2-0 home win over Kosovo ©Getty Images

"[We] told those guys in the stands that we don't have a war, we don't have weapons, but a ball and different jerseys," said Stoichiță in a report by Kosovar newspaper Koha.

"We are opponents for 90 minutes, after which we will continue to respect each other.

"We are not at war with anyone.

"We live in a football democracy and not a political one. I am afraid that we will lose the match with the official result.

"With Andorra, it's a done deal and we won't play with the fans present.

"But we are expecting to play without fans even in the match against Switzerland.

"These punishments will surely be imposed by UEFA, which is very strict in its rules and does not allow political messages in stadiums."

According to Romanian newspaper Adevărul, the FRF condemned the "irresponsible behaviour" of the spectators.

"We reiterate, first of all, the principle according to which football is governed in Romania, namely the non-interference of politics in the sporting act. Revisionism is not accepted in football, and the FRF strongly condemns provocative messages of a political, ideological, religious or insulting nature, these being categorically prohibited in stadiums," the statement read.