UEFA have promised a “full and
thorough investigation” into the violence that forced Italy’s Euro 2012
qualifying match with Serbia to be abandoned on Tuesday night.
Disturbances around the ground in
Genoa meant kick-off had to be put back 35 minutes and once the match started
Serbian supporters threw flares onto the pitch and let off fireworks.
Referee Craig Thomson stopped play
after just six minutes when visiting fans hurled a flare towards Italy
goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano and the match was quickly called off.
Police and fire fighters struggled
to contain the Serbian fans, who threw objects at their Italian counterparts,
cut protective netting and tried to smash Perspex barriers.
Officials say 16 people were hospitalized
and 17 arrested on what Italy coach Cesare Prandelli told reporters had been a
“night of torment.”
European football’s governing body
said that sanctions open to them include disqualifying Serbia from Euro 2012
and excluding them from future competitions.
UEFA’s statement read:
“Following the abandonment of the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match between Italy
and Serbia at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa after only six minutes of
play, UEFA has confirmed it has immediately opened a full and thorough
disciplinary investigation into the incidents of serious disorder witnessed at
the match and the circumstances surrounding it.
“Once the full dossier is
completed, with the assistance of both the referee and delegate reports, the
matter will be put before the independent UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body
for further review and possible sanctions.
The proposed date for the meeting
of the Control and Disciplinary Body to hear this case is Thursday 28 October.