serbia hooliganism

Bogdanov says issue is with Serbia

October 14, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

The suspected leader of the Serbian group that caused the Euro 2012 qualifier in Genoa to be abandoned on Tuesday says his problem is with his team rather than Italy.

Ivan Bogdanov
GettyImagesIvan Bogdanov gestures towards riot police

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Ivan Bogdanov, who was arrested by police after the match, appeared to lead the hooliganism, which involved weapons being brought into the stadium.

"I have a military past in Serbia," the Red Star Belgrade 'Ultra' said. "I love my country. I have nothing against Italy - I have it with my team."

However, two fellow Ultras - known as Grobari and Becchini - have warned Italy that there will be further incidents if the return match goes ahead in Serbia next year.

Italy are scheduled to play Serbia in Belgrade in October 2011 and, asked if there would be trouble, they told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Sure, both for your national team and for the fans who follow it. After what happened this time, what do you expect?"

The duo said they were glad Tuesday's game was abandoned and that their anger had been caused by Serbia FA president Tomislav Karadzic, who dismissed former Real Madrid and Barcelona boss Raddy Antic after the country's disappointing World Cup campaign.

"We are happy that the game wasn't played," he said. "We knew how it would end. The objective was our federation. We are angry with Karadzic because he sacked Antic, who is an idol for us."