Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Video: Italy - Serbia 2012 Euro Qualifier Suspended Due to Violence

An Italian supporter is hit by a burning flare thrown by Serbia's supporters before the Euro 2012 qualifying soccer match between the two teams at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa October 12, 2010. The match was suspended after just six minutes and was likely to be abandoned on Tuesday when away fans threw flares onto the pitch and at Italian fans. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo (ITALY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Today's 2012 Euro Qualifier between Italy and Serbia in Genoa started after a thirty-five minute delay and only lasted seven minutes before the match was suspended due to fan violence. While Italian football has seen its fair share of fan violence in recent years, today's incidents were apparently caused by travelling Serbian fans who threw flares onto the pitch, threw flares at Italian fans (see the picture above), threw fireworks onto the pitch, burned a flag, and started dismantling barriers.

The violence, which appears to be an organized protest against the Serbian National Team, started prior to the match when Serbian fans threw flares at the team bus, resulting in an injury to Serbian goal keeper Vladimir Stojković.

At this point, it appears that fans of Red Star FC are being blamed for today's violence, as articles point out that Stojković recently left Red Star to join its fierce rival Partizan FC. UEFA's investigation into this matter will clarify the veracity of such claims.

In light of today's incidents, UEFA is likely to deem this match a 3-0 victory in favor of Italy.

Today's violence by Serbian fans comes on the heels of violence related to a gay pride parade that was held in Belgrade this past weekend. Sunday's violence in Belgrade is apparently being blamed on pro-fascist elements in Serbia.

As a side note, Neven Subotic, who grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, was on the Serbian starting lineup for today's match.

Here is video from Genoa:

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