Euro 2012 news

Kolarov defends boos

October 8, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Serbia full-back Aleksandar Kolarov says the fans booed Italy's national anthem in Belgrade on Friday because of "what happened in Genoa".

Serbia fans wave their flag during the 1-1 draw with Italy
GettyImagesSerbia fans wave their flag during the 1-1 draw with Italy

• Serbia 1-1 Italy
• UEFA awards Italy 3-0 win

The Euro 2012 qualifier at the Stadio Ferraris last October was called off after just six minutes as a result of hooliganism from a number of Serbia fans. Serbia requested that the game be replayed on the basis of "fair play", but UEFA awarded Italy a 3-0 win.

On Friday night, when the teams met in Belgrade, the home fans drowned out the Italian anthem before the kick-off, but Kolarov feels there was justification for their actions.

"An anthem should not be jeered, but in this case I think the responsibility lies with what happened in Genoa," he said. "In Serbia we would never have abandoned a game like that, because we'd have stopped the hooligans first.

"Why did the Italian police not do the same? In Italy the police have killed people and nobody talks about that, while Serbia are judged for the trouble caused by five people."

The match ended in a 1-1 draw that leaves Serbia in need of victory in their final qualifier in Slovenia to reach the play-offs. Italy had already booked their Euro 2012 place.