Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
The fixture is widely regarded as the most fiery and dangerous derby in world football but despite the game almost being a title decider, the sting was taken out of the occasion by Red Star ultras refusing to turn up at Partizan’s stadium.
Religious convictions had told them the game should not be played on Easter Saturday so they boycotted.
So there was no violence whatsoever, but that didn’t stop a huge number of riot police being there.
When Savo Milosevic joined Partizan Belgrade from little known Bosnian outfit Radnik Bijeljina as a 19-year old in 1992, few people imagined he would become the most capped Yugoslav player with 101 international appearances to his name.
Later this month, Milosevic will draw a curtain on his international career when Serbia entertain neighbours Bulgaria in a friendly in Belgrade. Ironically, it will be his only appearance for Serbia as he has not played for his country since it became an independent nation after the 2006 World Cup.
I guess most if not all fans of Manchester United and Chelsea wish the Champions League final was being played a little closer to home.
The decision to waive visa restrictions should have helped a bit but with flight and hotel prices rocketing an awful lot of fans who would have made the trip to Paris, say, are presumably going to stay at home.