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Oct 13, 2010

Serbia chief admits 'shame' after game abandoned

Serbian Football Association president Tomislav Karadzic says Tuesday night's violent scenes in Genoa have brought shame on the country, with UEFA expected to award a 3-0 win to Italy after the Euro 2012 qualifier was abandoned.

• Serbian authorities blamed
• UEFA launches probe

After Serbian fans attacked their own team bus prior to kick-off, resulting in goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic being taken to hospital for tests, kick-off was delayed by 35 minutes after Serbian supporters threw flares onto the pitch and in the direction of Italian fans.

When the game did start, another flare was thrown at Italian goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano forcing referee Craig Thomson to call a halt to proceedings after only six minutes. Serbian supporters also taunted police, cut protective nets and attempted to smash Perspex barriers.

Italian federation vice-president and former Italy midfielder Demetrio Albertini told Reuters: "We will not ask for anything. It's up to the UEFA delegate to talk with UEFA to decide what to do."

Serbia's football chief said events in Genoa were a shameful episode for the country's national side.

"We had indications that this would happen," Karadzic told Belgrade's B92 television. "These fans are just the executors, it was planned in Belgrade.

"This has brought embarrassment and shame on our country. We had problems during training, before the match, and now this... the state must react."

Gazzetta dello Sport reports on Wednesday morning that one of the alleged ringleaders of the trouble has been arrested by Italian police.

The Serbian fan, named as Ivan, was arrested on a bus at around 0200 BST after being identified by his distinctive tattoos.

Genoa police confirmed 17 Serbia fans had been arrested while 16 people were injured, including two policemen, during clashes after the abandonment of the contest. A total of 35 people have been charged by police while 138 have been identified.

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