Italy has refuse to play Serbia in a rematch of the Euro 2012 qualifier that was supposed to be played a week back, but was cancelled after seven minutes due to riots in the stands by Serbian supporters. The Serbian Football Federation had hoped that the Italian side would agree to replay the match due to the fact that only seven minutes elapsed, but the Italian federation has claimed that granting the country the second chance would be like bestowing “a gift” to an undeserving child.
The Serbian fans threw flares and fireworks onto the field during the initial minutes of the match along with also burning Albanian flags, destroying stadium property, and rioting in the stands. The official decision on the result of the match will be announced on October 29th, but the violent incident in Genoa last week will likely result in a stiff punishment for the Serbian side considering the match was played away from their own homeland and was considered a terrible insult to the hosting nation.
Add on the fact that football federations worldwide are doing there best to avoid any negative fan and player altercations and I think that this game will in fact never be replayed. In fact so little time elapsed before the game was called that it is even hard to say that it should be “replayed”, but instead played for the first time. But Serbia’s supporters put the players on the pitch at risk by their unruly and violent antics and that is likely worthy of as severe a punishment as a team can suffer due to their fans behavior.
And sometimes fining just thousands upon thousands of dollars isn’t enough. How about a loss instead Serbia? Maybe next time your supporters will relax a little bit more if this is the solution.