Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Belgrade derby was full of nice not nasty surprises

Photo

I attended my first Belgrade derby on Saturday and all the preconceptions I might have had were happily blown away in the brisk Serbian wind.

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.

  •