Italy vs Serbia abandoned – Reaction and footage

Italy’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Serbia in Genoa was abandoned after the away fans rioted against their own team.
The Serbian supporters invaded the team bus before kick-off, throwing smokebombs at the players. Goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic was injured and unable to play.
Before the match began, the hooligans smashed up the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, tearing down the protective nets and damaging the plexiglass walls. Riot police were called in, but the Serbian hooligans continued to throw objects at them, as well as the Italian fans.
UEFA announced that the game would go ahead despite the unrest, but it was a non-event. After a firework was thrown at Emiliano Viviano in the 15th minute, narrowly missing Italy’s keeper, the referee called everyone into the centre-circle, before abandoning the match.
Viviano said afterwards: “It’s a shame that a football match should end like this, but the Serbian players were also very upset. Dejan Stankovic was crying.
“I told them I couldn’t stand in goal and keep an eye over my shoulder for the fans throwing things at me. I really didn’t want to get a firework in the face.”
Prandelli spoke about the riot after the abandonment: “We knew something was very strange when their first-choice goalkeeper, Stojkovic, came into our locker room shaking like a leaf.”
“He said the Serbian team bus had been attacked and there we understood their actions were pre-meditated.”
“The intention of the Serbian fans was to ensure this game was not played. Was he beaten up? I don’t know.”
It is thought that the Serbian hooligans were protesting against their team’s shock defeat to Estonia recently. Italy are expected to be awarded a 3-0 victory as a result of the events.

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