I was getting very excited about the Italy – Serbia game which was supposed to be played today, but to my (and probably many other people’s) disappointment, the match was cancelled. The game was cancelled because of crowd trouble, mainly from the Serbian fans’s end. The match’s kick-off was delayed by about 35 minutes, and the game was stopped after just six minutes of play.
This is a huge disappointment for me, especially because Serbia is probably the toughest opponent that Italy has to compete with in these Euro 2012 qualifiers. In a group with the Faroe Islands, Estonia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, and Serbia, Italy was doing relatively well, and this match which was supposed to take place at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris was going to be an important game.
The main disruptions that the Serbian fans caused were basically throwing flares all over the place. Whether it be onto the playing field, towards Italian keeper Viviano, or in the Italian crowd it didn’t matter. The Serbian players even tried to calm down their fans, but they were unsuccessful, and therefore the Scottish referee Craig Thomson cancelled the match after about six minutes.
There were already some ideas of fan trouble when Serbia’s usual keeper Vladimir Stojkovic decided to not play because of abuse on the way to the stadium from his own fans. The cause of this abuse was domestic rivalry, and Stojkovic even went to the Italian dressing room to explain his withdrawal.
Prandelli was very disappointed with what happened, and he commented regarding the trouble.
“It’s a great disappointment, there’s great bitterness, the ground was full of children with so much enthusiasm. According to the Serbians we have spoken to, the aim of the Serbian fans was to stop the match,”
Now the big question arises, what will UEFA do about this cancelled match? Well, I read over UEFA’s rules regarding the European Championships and I found this regarding what to do in case of an abandoned match.
“If the match is abandoned before the end of normal time or during any extra time because the field is not fit for play or for other reasons, it must be replayed in full either the next day or on another date as agreed by the host association and the visiting association, subject to the approval of the UEFA administration. An agreement must be reached within two hours of the referee’s decision to cancel the match. In case of dispute, the UEFA administration fixes the date and kick-off time of the match. Its decision is final.”
So it seems like the match will be replayed on a certain date agreed by both associations along with UEFA’s approval, but there’s been rumblings that the match could be marked off as a 3-0 win to Italy. Here’s what the Italy soccer federation vice president Demetrio Albertini said regarding what will happen in the future.
“We will not ask for anything. It’s up to the UEFA delegate to talk with UEFA to decide what to do,”
So things are still up in the air regarding what will happen, I think that the match will just simply be replayed with no away fans allowed to attend. But UEFA could decide to give Italy the win, especially because it doesn’t seem like the Azzurri supporters caused any problems. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, what are your thoughts regarding this cancelled match? Comment below!