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Real escape with hope of progress

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By ESPN Staff

Serbian fan sentenced to three years

A Serbian fan has been sentenced to three years and three months in jail for his role in the riot that forced the abandonment of his country's Euro 2012 qualifier against Italy last October.

Ivan Bogdanov, 29, was found guilty of instigating the ugly scenes at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa which forced Scottish referee Craig Thomson to abandon the match after just six minutes.

Wearing a black balaclava Bogdanov climbed the barrier separating the Serbian fans from the pitch and used a wire cutter to prise open the fence.

His actions were followed by a volley of flares being thrown onto the pitch which prompted the match to be called off, with UEFA later awarding Italy a 3-0 win.

The game had already been delayed 35 minutes due to crowd disturbances with Italian police later revealing they had arrested 17 Serbian fans while 16 people were injured including two police officers.

Three other Serbian fans were also on trial in Genoa today on charges ranging from resisting public officials to damaging public property.

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