Tag: Serbia

Is the award of a 3-0 win a suitable punishment?

On Friday, UEFA announced the punishments for the abandonment of the Italy-Serbia European Championship Qualifier. As expected, Serbia did not get off lightly. The Football Association of Serbia (FSS) were fined €120,000, ordered to play a home qualifier behind closed doors, with a second game behind closed doors suspended for two years, as well as having their supporters banned from travelling to the rest of their qualifiers. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) were also fined the smaller amount of €100,000, and also ordered to play a game behind closed doors, suspended for two years. While the FSS were punished because their supporters were the cause of the trouble in Genoa on the night of the game, the FIGC were punished for failing to stop the Serbian fans entering the Luigi Ferraris stadium with flares and fireworks, and for the security operation failing to stop the pitch invasion that gave Scottish referee Craig Thomson no option but to initially delay the kick-off, and ultimately abandon the match. On the face of it, both punishments seem appropriate. While it is difficult for a Football Association to prevent tickets ending up in the wrong hands, they are responsible for their fans behaviour, and the fine, and the loss of revenue from a game being played behind closed doors will certainly provide the FSS with the motivation to do all they can to...

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2010 World Cup Australia 2-1 Serbia

On a day when England had played and won and qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup, by the time the second set of games was ready to kick-off the day’s sports events were being overshadowed – or at least challenged for prominence – by an extraordinary first round singles match between two little known men at Wimbledon. I’d promised to cover this game though, so conscientious as ever I tore myself away from the tennis with John Isner and Nicolas Mahut locked at 45-45 in the final set. I had thought I might watch with BBC radio coverage for a change, but 5 Live extra were being less dedicated to the World Cup cause and were promising to switch to the football when – or if – the tennis finished.

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World Cup 2010: Germany 0-1 Serbia

The German side who sparked this World Cup into life with their 4-0 win over Australia, a German side so effortlessly impressive that they brought all the very best paranoid and stereotypical utterances about “Ze Germans” out of the normally *cough* very reserved and neutral British press, were back in action today. But you’d have had to be a very brave man, or a very proud Serb, to have seen this. In fact, although Serbia were much improved on their opening performance against Ghana, it’s difficult to believe it happened.

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World Cup 2010: Serbia 0-1 Ghana

Why are all the matches in the tournament that I have to cover for Twhohundredpercent on ITV? It’s not that the BBC coverage appears to be any better – indeed, it appears that yesterday’s Match of the Day highlights package neglected to show any footage from South Korea’s win over Greece, which is fairly appalling – but I am a snob. Actually, it’s frankly preposterous the amount of pre-game build-up and half-time punditry that I’m watching in this tournament, considering the cataclysmic effect it has on my sanity, ITV or otherwise.

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My Favourite Former Country: Yugoslavia

In the second of his pieces for us, William Abbs ponders whether having a second team at international level is a worthwhile endeavour. When Fulham’s improbable run to the Europa League final had writers in The Times and The Guardian trumpeting Roy Hodgson’s charges as everybody’s second favourite team, I asked myself the following question: how does having a second favourite team work at international level? In the case of Fulham, they earned the backing of British neutrals by virtue of being a Premier League club in a European final. The British love an unlikely hero; when Fulham defeated the best that Europe could throw at them (within the parameters of the continent’s second-ranked club competition anyhow), the London club’s place in the public’s affections was assured. With a few notable exceptions, any side in the country would have received such goodwill under the circumstances. For fans of clubs with nothing left to play for at the end of the season, supporting a British side in a major final is a harmless way to hitch a lift aboard another’s glory. But what about supporting another country? Developing an affection for a national side other than one’s own is, if anything, a more enduring affair. During a major tournament, with so many games being televised in such a short space of time, watching a group of players perform magnificently over...

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