Red Star, Partizan Belgrade fined over hooligans

Serbia has punished two top football clubs for fan violence and
the government pledged on Thursday to curb hooliganism in the
Balkan country.

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic chaired a meeting of a special
committee to combat violence in sports. He said his government is
determined to deal with the problem which has plagued Serbian
sports for years.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the government
committee demanded that hooligans responsible for fan violence be
urgently punished and that those with repeated violations be banned
from attending games for five years.

The committee also said it will investigate hooligan ties with
organized crime.

Serbia’s hooligans are notorious at home and abroad. They forced
an interruption of the Red Star-Partizan Belgrade match this month
when they lit a huge fire in the stands. Scores of fans were
injured in clashes with the police.

The Serbia Football Association on Wednesday ordered Partizan to
play two matches without fans and fined the club 1 million dinars
(8,700 euros). It also fined Red Star half that sum and banned fans
for one match.

FA official Slobodan Pajovic threatened stricter punishments if
incidents continue.