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Craig Thomson forced to abandon Euro 2012 qualifier

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referee Craig Thomson was forced to abandon tonight’s - Euro 2012 qualifier after just seven minutes due to violence from visiting Serbian fans.

The Serbian fans had been fighting with police, throwing flares onto the pitch and ignored pleas from their own players to calm down before the kick-off.

Genoa’s Stadio Luigi Ferraris stadium is well used to handling big matches but the Italian authorities were unable to contain the Serbian fans who unfurled a banner reading ‘Kosovo is Serbia’ before the match.

Thomson delayed the kick-off by 40 minutes but was forced to abandon the match after seven minutes when the fans aimed missiles at Italian keeper Emiliano Vivano.

An (under)statement on the website said that they will await the report of the match delegate before deciding whether to open up a disciplinary case!

Serbian supporters had fought with police outside the stadium and reportedly even attacked their own team’s bus, causing the goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic to withdraw from the game before kick-off.

Match Off

Despite those events Thomson went ahead with starting the match with the Serbian players going over to the away section to plead with the troublemakers and a short silence was observed in memory of four Italian soldier killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Within minutes of the game starting flares had been thrown onto the pitch as well as into the home supporters’ enclosure. At that point point the Thomson ruled that the game could not continue, as he could not guarantee the safety of the players.

Italian coach said he had “never seen anything like it”, and Viviano agreed that the game could never have gone ahead in such conditions.

The keeper said: “It was impossible to play in that goal. I would have had to stand with my back to the game so I could avoid the flares. I wouldn’t have wanted to take one to the head.

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