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
Paul Scholes: Emirates was the easy option for Mesut Ozil. He needs a leader - and Arsenal don't have them
Police want right of veto over 'high risk' Friday night fixtures in wake of new Premier League TV deal
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his dance moves, including the moonwalk
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests