UEFA awards Italy 3-0 win over Serbia for violence

Italy was awarded a 3-0 win over Serbia on Friday because

rioting fans forced their European Championship qualifier to be

abandoned on Oct. 7.

Serbia also was ordered to lock its fans out of one home

qualifier in the ruling by UEFA, the Italian soccer federation

said. The penalty could be increased to two games if there is more

crowd trouble during the next two years.

Italy will be ordered to play a game in an empty stadium if

trouble is repeated.

The Serbian federation was fined $166,000 and the Italian

federation was docked $140,000. Also, Serbia’s fans will be barred

from traveling to all of its away matches in this qualifying

period.

”We are not satisfied with the penalties, especially the part

which gave Italy the win,” said Tomislav Karadzic, president of

Serbia’s soccer federation.

He said the rest of the penalties were expected and that the

federation will make a decision on whether to appeal when it

receives the official verdict from UEFA.

The Italian federation was disciplined because its security

operation failed to stop Serbian fans from entering the stadium in

Genoa with an arsenal of fireworks and flares.

Italy now leads Group C qualifying with 10 points from four

games. Serbia is fifth in the six-nation group with four

points.

The ruling means Serbia will have to play in an empty stadium

against Northern Ireland on March 25. Barring further crowd

trouble, its fans will be allowed in when Serbia hosts Italy in

Belgrade next October.

Both federations have three business days to appeal.

Italy appeared satisfied by the ruling.

”UEFA appreciated the solid work of our delegation, which was

able to show that the Italian federation did the best it could

under the dramatic circumstances of that evening,” said Antonello

Valentini, director general of Italy’s federation.

The Euro 2012 qualifier on Oct. 7 was stopped in the seventh

minute when the score was 0-0. Violence continued into the night

and at least 16 people, including two police officers, were

injured.

Eight Serbian fans, including the alleged ringleader of the

rioting, were arrested in Italy after the abandoned match. At least

19 others were arrested while traveling home.