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Italy vs. Serbia Cancelled Due To Fan Trouble

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!

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  1. Christian Ceccarelli

    October 14, 2010 at 9:57 am

    What the Serb fans did was disgusting!! Let us not forget that Italy has also suffered its fair share of hooliganism and, by the look of things, they’ve succeded in supressing the trouble makers using various methods from identification, listing and banning and so on . . .its gone very serious and is now common practice within Italy. GOOD! Serbia will get there too.

    However, lets remmeber how the controll methods started . . . you have to start by showing the “basterds” you meen business! and that meens clearing them out the stands by force . . . this is what some of you guys have been suggesting, right?? . . .

    In countries where football is a religeon, like Italy, Serbia, Argentina, England and many more, and disruptions like this have taken place, how many times has there been a succesfull “clearing” of the hooligans??? . . .

    NEVER! It only fuels the fire as the retarded hooligans feel they are unfairly treated! . . . like they are the victims! . . . and puts them in the spot light where they wanna be, the centre of attention, spuring them on even more! Then people get hurt, beaten and so on! Media then gets a hold of this and starts “playing” both sides . . . ” The hooligans are victims and the evil fascist government troops were supressing the freedom of those who oppossed the BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT . . . ”

    I am upset that these young players on both sides lost much needed playing time, but I believe the conclusion was for the best. I hope the game will be rescheduled, and that all footballing nations adopt the stricktest of controll methods for the fans: identify then list the hooligans and cut them off completely, life time bans for this kind of shit!!
    It is unfair that the teams are usually punished for this.

  2. Robert

    October 13, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I am an Italian fan. I think the match should be replayed as it is the fairest way to determine who advances from the group. Maybe I have been to too many American sporting events, but how easy would it have been to remove the visiting fans? Based on the footage I saw it would have been a huge disruption and made it impossible to play the match. it would have taken an hour at least to clear the stands, and as the Serbian keeper can attest, the players would have been too distracted to play anyhow. Could you play with the thought that now even angrier ultras are outside waiting for you?

    Replay the match on a neutral field and, maybe to make it easier, close it off to fans. Just permit TV coverage. I don’t envy Northern Ireland, who has the privilege of traveling to Serbia for the next match.

    • Rami S.

      October 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Robert,

      Yes it does take time to clear the stands but the match was already delayed 35 minutes. If the UEFA delegate, the referee, and the police initiated the process to empty the stands from the Serbs and just keep the Italian fans then I am sure that in an additional 25 minutes they would have succeeded. Sometimes it takes force to make certain people understand how things really work.

      The biggest loser is Serbia’s national team because the players are innocent and do not deserve this. I wanted Italy to win by actually beating the Serbs on the field but if UEFA feels it should award Italy the win then so be it as witnessed in some previous cases.

      Otherwise, have Italy host the game again but only open to Azzurri fans and no Serbs. As a punishment for the Serbian fans, have the national team play a match or two on neutral ground without their fans and then for remainder of qualifiers return to Serbia but without any fans.

  3. december

    October 13, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Im a Serb, and i think they should be punished for what they did, ban, lose, or what ever, its a disgrace what some of our fans are like. the ones resposible should be banned for life!

    • bob

      October 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm

      Banned for life is not enough, put up against a wall and shot.

  4. David H

    October 13, 2010 at 5:03 am

    In June 2007 UEFA awarded a 3-0 victory to Sweden over Denmark after a Danish supporter entered the pitch & attempted to assault the ref & a player near the end of the match. It was 3-3 at the time of the game being abandoned. I feel fairly confident that UEFA will also award Italy a 3-0 win after this disgraceful evening, despite the rules stating a replay should be scheduled.

    • Rami S.

      October 13, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      Hi David,

      I tend to agree with you. I think the issue for me is the Serbian players did not deserve to be stuck in the middle of this where they will be announced losers despite not actually losing on the pitch.

  5. Niccolo Conte

    October 13, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Well Ronato, I sort of agree with you (as an Italy fan), but I can’t see UEFA doing it, especially banning Serbia.

    But I think Rami is right, removing the fans would’ve been the best option.

  6. RS-SRB

    October 13, 2010 at 12:19 am

    As a Serb, I’m absolutely outraged at what our supporters did in the stadium but i don’t believe its fair to the 11 players on the pitch to lose the match 3-0 because of their supporters stupidity. They should replay the match behind closed doors and as much as I hate to say it, the supporters need to be banned for a couple of matches which is tough because not all of them were participating in the flare throwing and so on. At the end of the day, no-one got hurt and that is the most important thing

    • bob

      October 13, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      I agree.

  7. Rami S.

    October 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I am wondering how UEFA will react and what the decisions will be. I think the away fans should have been removed and then the match would have proceeded. This would let the home fans stay since they didn’t cause problems and will ensure some degree of safety since the two groups of fans are kept separate by having the Serbs leave first.

    The most important is no one was seriously hurt from both national teams. The safety of players and the innocent fans or bystanders is most important and then comes a football game.

    This is a big disappointment as it would have been interesting to see how Italy will do against the talented Serbs.

  8. Ronato

    October 12, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    I was very dissapointed tonight. Italy deserves 3-0 victory and Serbia should be banned from UEFA.

    • bob

      October 13, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      I think Serbia should get the 3-0 win because the Italians allowed them to bring all the fire works into the game, and the police were under staffed to stop the idiots from casing this havoc.

  9. Centrifuzija

    October 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Just a small correction in the second paragraph. You forgot to mention SLOVENIA. Jap, maybe Serbia is not the tough­est oppo­nent that Italy has to com­pete with in these Euro 2012 qual­i­fiers. 🙂 But our fans are certainly more peaceful than Serbian.

    • Niccolo Conte

      October 12, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks, I’ve edited it in. And yes, I was actually very pleased that the Italian fans didn’t cause too much of an uproar.

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