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.