BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia has canceled a junior world championsip qualifier against Kosovo citing security concerns.

Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic tells the Tanjug news agency the match on Friday was called off to avoid clashes with nationalist fans who are opposed to Kosovo’s independence.

The game was scheduled for Friday afternoon in Kovilovo, near the capital Belgrade. Teams had agreed to play without fans or media attendance and without the display of national symbols to avoid tensions.

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

A Serbian youth group has criticized the canceling of the game, urging state action against those threatening violence.