Partizan appeal against UEFA season ban

July 30, 2007

BELGRADE, July 30 (Reuters) - Partizan Belgrade will appeal against their one-year ban from European competition imposed by UEFA after crowd trouble in their UEFA Cup match at Bosnia's Zrinjski Mostar earlier this month.

The Serbian club's spokesman Marko Vjetrovic said: 'We have received the formal grounds for our suspension in writing and we have decided to appeal against the verdict within the three-day deadline.'

Partizan's decision came as a surprise after the club's general secretary Gordan Petric said last week it was unlikely they would appeal the ban and a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs.

European soccer's governing body expelled Partizan from the competition after their fans rioted during the first qualifying round, first leg match at Zrinjski which the Serbian side won 6-1.

Trouble erupted in the first half and 36 people were injured as rival fans clashed with each other and with riot police.

Appealing against the ban provides a risk for Partizan because UEFA's Disciplinary Committee could increase their original punishment.