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Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 11:45 UK

Irish FA awaits Uefa ruling on violence by Serbian fans

Patrick Nelson is chief executive of the Irish Football Association
Patrick Nelson says the IFA will wait to hear Uefa's verdict

Northern Ireland will wait for Uefa's verdict on the violence by Serbia fans before planning their trip to Belgrade for a Euro 2012 qualifier in March.

Serbia's match in Italy on Wednesday was abandoned after only six minutes as travelling fans threw flares and fireworks onto the pitch.

"It is a matter for Uefa and we will see what they say," said Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson.

"We plan our trips carefully and have a security officer as part of the team."

Uefa officials said they would wait for their match delegate's report before taking any action.

Nelson added: "We will need to plan for the game in the near future as it is our next match.

"We will work with our security officer, Uefa and Serbia.

"We also work quite closely with the Amalgamation (of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs), not just for this trip to Serbia but every trip."

Serbian Football Association president Tomislav Karadzic admitted his shame and revealed the problems at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris did not come as a surprise.

"We had indications that this would happen," he told Belgrade's B92 television.

"These fans are just the executors, it was planned in Belgrade.

"This has brought embarrassment and shame on our country. We had problems during training, before the match, and now this... the state must react."

Italian Football Federation security chief Roberto Massucci blamed Serbian authorities for allowing unruly fans to travel.

Cesare Prandelli, coach of the Italian team, could not hide his disappointment after the abandonment.

"We are extremely sad and bitter," he said. "I have never experienced anything like this.

"The (Serbia) players have been assaulted by their own fans in their bus.

"Their goalkeeper (Vladimir Stojkovic) was in our changing room, he was trembling and had fear not only about tonight but also in view of returning home.

"The ultra fans seemed organised. It appeared as though they would have done everything possible to make sure the game was not played. According to the Serbian players, that was their aim."

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see also
Uefa probes Serbia fan violence
13 Oct 10 |  Football
Italy v Serbia photos
13 Oct 10 |  Football
Faroe Islands 1-1 N Ireland
12 Oct 10 |  Irish

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