Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Northern Ireland await UEFA verdict

UEFA

Northern Ireland will wait to hear UEFA's verdict on Tuesday night's violence by Serbia fans as they plan their trip to Belgrade next spring.

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

The kick-off had already been delayed by 35 minutes when, after pre-match clashes between visiting supporters and Italian police, Serbian fans threw flares in the direction of the north stand where Italian supporters were seated. With possible sanctions from UEFA in the pipeline, attention is already focusing on Serbia's next qualifier - a home match against Northern Ireland at the end of March.

But Patrick Nelson, chief executive of the Irish Football Association, said the body would wait to hear from UEFA before making any judgments on safety.

He said: "It's a matter for UEFA and we will look out and see what they say about it as our next away game is away in Serbia.

"We'll need to plan for that game in the near future. We plan all our trips carefully as all trips are different.

"We have a security officer as part of the team. We will work with him, UEFA and the other country, whichever country that may be.

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

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