Red Star give go-ahead for derby amid tight security
Thursday 21 October 2010
The Belgrade derby between Serbia's bitter rivals Red Star and Partizan should go ahead on Saturday with tight security to prevent fan violence, Red Star officials said yesterday.
"As ever, it is a high-risk fixture and police should be deployed in numbers to make sure it's an incident-free event," said a club spokesman, Marko Nikolovski.
"We have reduced the stadium's capacity for this match to make more room for police but we certainly think fans should be allowed into the stadium to watch the action," he said.
Representatives of Red Star, Partizan, the Serbian Football Association and police are to meet today to hammer out a security plan for the derby, which has a history of crowd trouble.
The meeting, originally set for yesterday, was pushed back 24 hours amid media speculation that the fixture might be called off after Serbian supporters rioted in Italy before and during a Euro 2012 qualifier last week.
Serbia fans attacked their team bus before kick-off in Genoa and threw flares at police and the home fans, forcing their Group C qualifier against Italy to be abandoned after six minutes.
The riot came two days after violence at a gay parade in Belgrade, when anti-gay protesters, including football hooligans, clashed with police, set vehicles on fire and caused property damage estimated at one million euros.
On Tuesday, the Partizan president, Dragan Djuric, said that the derby should be played either with no fans present or under heavy security measures.
"Given the situation in the last 10 days or so we maintain the safest option would be to play the derby behind closed doors," Djuric told Belgrade's B92 television ahead of Partizan's 2-0 Champions League defeat at Braga.
"We want the match to go ahead but, if it is to be played with fans present in the stadium, we want written guarantees from Red Star, the Serbian FA and police that there will be water-tight security," he emphasised.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Pavement The Forum, London
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Bayern Munich 'training camp' to supply refugees with food, footballs and German lessons
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up