Italy/Serbia Abandoned Due to Fan Violence

Serbia might drop 3 points in Euro 2012 qualifying because once again their fans are a tad rowdy. Today in Genoa a Serbian fan dressed up in a burglar’s mask began cutting the security netting down. The madness did not end there, as the match was officially abandoned once the Serbian contingent threw flares onto the pitch as well as fireworks. Some of the footage is in this video, which has no sound so don’t turn your speakers up.

After 7 minutes of football the referee decided for everyone’s safety it was unsafe to play the game and he called it off. This was all apparently part of a premeditated protest due to their poor start to their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Italy may now be awarded a 3-0 victory by default.

“The referee felt that the players’ security couldn’t be assured. Now it’s up to UEFA and their disciplinary procedures,” Italian football federation general secretary Antonello Valentini said.

UEFA spokesman Rob Faulkner told The Associated Press in a text message that when a match is abandoned for safety reasons the normal procedure is to use the referee and match delegate’s report to open a case before its control and disciplinary panel.

In 2007, the control and disciplinary awarded Sweden a 3-0 default win over Denmark in a similar case.

Tomislav Karadzic, the president of the Serbia football federation, said the protest was likely organized back in Belgrade.

“It’s an attack on the state and the state has to resolve this problem,” he was quoted as saying by Serbian media.

Italy security director Roberto Massucci was upset that the Serbian police didn’t warn of the danger from their fans.

That just seems to be taking it a bit too far, but nonetheless the damage has been done and UEFA should give Italy their 3-0 default win. The teams are responsible for fan behavior and when they resort to acting like savages the team should be punished. A famous case of fan violence occurred hours before the 1985 European Cup Final, when Liverpool fans charged towards Juventus supporters at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, causing the stands to collapse, killing 39 people. The majority of the victims were Italian (32 to be exact) and UEFA banned English clubs from ALL forms of club competition for 5 years.

I’m of the opinion that fan violence and hooliganism, especially when causing harm to the stadium or others in the stadium, is unacceptable and these types of measures should take place. In all likelihood the Serbs will be playing their qualifying matches behind closed doors and their fans will be banned from attending matches for the remainder of this qualifying process.
It is highly unfortunate that a potentially good game between two nations coming off disappointing World Cups was abandoned due to frustration and anger from disgruntled Serbian supporters spilling over to the point of mass rioting.

One thought on “Italy/Serbia Abandoned Due to Fan Violence

  1. Pingback: Your Apology is Too Late « Stupid Sideline Reporters

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