Italy-Serbia match abandoned due to crowd trouble

08:59, October 13, 2010      

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Italy's Gianluca Zambrotta (R) looks at a firefighter as he collects a flare thrown by Serbia supporters during their Euro 2012 qualifying soccer match at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa October 12, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Crowd violence caused the Italy's Euro 2012 Group C qualifier against Serbia to be abondoned on Tuesday.

The game was delayed for 35 minutes after a section of Serbian fans threw fire crackers and flares in the direction of the north stand where Italian supporters were seated, and onto the pitch.

Serbian players, led by Inter Milan midfielder Dejan Stankovic, urged their fans to calm down as families began to make their way towards the exit.

Once order was restored, a minute's silence was observed in memory of four Italian soldier killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.

The game started but it was not long before Scottish referee Craig Thomson stopped play after a Serbian fan threw a flare onto the pitch, which narrowly missed Italy goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.

After a delay, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said: "The game will not be played. I've never seen anything like it."

Viviano said it was not possible to resume playing.

"It was impossible to have played in that goal," he said. "I would have had to constantly turn around to make sure that no flare hit me."

Source: Xinhua
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