The Euro 2012 qualifier between Italy and Serbia that was scheduled to take place yesterday was suspended due to fan trouble. The Azzurri sit top of Group C on 7 points from 3 matches with Slovenia in second place with the same number of points albeit they have played an extra game.
The trouble is said to have started when Serbian fans attacked their own team bus injuring goal keeper Vladimir Stojkovic. It is not known what caused this reaction however, local authorities did report that fans had been causing trouble since afternoon.
Both teams came onto the pitch but rising tensions made them return to their dressing rooms. By 2100hrs CET Serbian fans had started throwing flares to the police who were trying to control the situation.
The game finally kicked-off but was only played for 6 minutes before the referee decided to abandon the game. At this point, the situation was getting worse as Serbian fans continued to throw flares into the pitch.
Italy goal keeper Emiliano Viviano was lucky to escape unscathed in this incident as flare landed only a few feet from where he was standing. Roberto Masucci the head of the Italian security delegation told Rai that the game had been suspended.
“The game has been suspended because of a decision by the referee.”
La republicca also reported that Serbian fans left the stadium immediately the game was suspended but but Italian fans remain. Police later broke up a fight which broke out as the Serbian ultras tried to fight.
It is not known what form of punishment UEFA will hand Serbia or when the match will be replayed. The European football governing body now awaits a UEFA’s delegates match report before deciding on the next step of action which would be to open a disciplinary case the guilty party.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli was hoping to continue with his perfect run in Group C but will now have to wait until UEFA reaches a decision.
Photo credit: from Nove foto da Firenze