Home Page
 
News 20 May 11

Serbia Forms Special 'Football Hooligan' Police

Faced with the threat of a ban from international football matches, Serbia is establishing a department within the police tasked with curbing sporting violence.

Bojana Barlovac
Belgrade
Serbian hooligans in Genoa
Serbian hooligans in Genoa | Photo by FoNet

Serbia's Interior Ministry has formed a national soccer police centre tasked with countering the growing threat of fan hooliganism.

"Twenty or thirty specialised people will work in the centre," police general Mladen Kuribak told Balkan Insight. "Eighty police officers in the country have been trained for it so far," he added.

Apart from the national centre, cities will have their own departments within the city police forces specialised in dealing with and preventing violence at sporting events.

Serbia has taken action after UEFA chief Michel Platini urged Serbia to form a special department in the Interior Ministry as part of measures designed to curb soccer violence within six months. Otherwise, the country faces being banned from international competitions.

In addition to forming a special police department, the UEFA chief urged Serbian authorities to establish a national registry of known hooligans.

Kuribak said the police had started creating a database on May 5 that will contain the names of everyone involved in violating the law on preventing violence at sporting events.

"This will allow Serbian police, as our colleagues in Europe do, to monitor known hooligans ahead of crucial matches," the police general noted.

Serbian football hooligans caused their last major affray last October at a EURO 2012 qualifying game in Genoa, Italy.

Fans cut through fencing and threw flares onto the pitch, forcing the referee to cancel the game minutes after it had started. The violence continued after the fans left the stadium and 138 people were arrested.

As a result, the Serbian team was penalized with a 3-0 score and a fine of 120,000 euros.

Another of Platini's complaint during his February visit was about the slow pace of Serbian justice. Four hooligans expelled from Italy after the Genoa riots have yet to face trial in Serbia. Another four charged with serious crimes in Genoa are still in prison in Italy.

Police have closed the investigation into the events of the match in Genoa and say it is up to the prosecutor's office to make a move.

"Police submitted information about the match to the competent prosecutor. The prosecutor will react to it," Kuribak said.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

the-power-of-time-07-20-2017
20 Jul 17

The Power of Time

In a region with such a tumultuous history as the Balkans, sudden developments are common, but as this week’s roundup from our Premium articles shows, some current situations and recent events have been years in the making.

20 Jul 17

Serbia in Two Minds Over New IMF Deal

20 Jul 17

Macedonia Moves to Make Smokers' Lives Easier

Premium Selection

serbia-in-two-minds-over-new-imf-deal-07-17-2017
20 Jul 17

Serbia in Two Minds Over New IMF Deal

With the economy in relatively good shape, a question mark hangs over whether Serbia needs a fresh arrangement with the Fund.

kosovo-war-court-president-promises-impartial-justice-07-19-2017
20 Jul 17

Kosovo War Court President Promises Impartial Justice

The president of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, Ekaterina Trendafilova, told BIRN the new court has no ethnic bias, will protect its witnesses from intimidation and deliver justice impartially and independently.

19 Jul 17

New Migrants Face Old Terrors on Balkan Route