BELGRADE, March 16 (Reuters) – Serbian champions Partizan
Belgrade, their city rivals Rad and first division debutants
Novi Pazar have been punished for crowd trouble after a week
littered with fresh soccer violence in the country.
The Serbian Football Association (FSS) on Friday ordered
Partizan and Rad to play their next home games behind closed
doors after their fans rioted in last Saturday’s league matches.
BELGRADE, March 16 (Reuters) – Croatia fear for the fitness
of their English Premier League players during the season’s
hectic climax and hope it will not affect their European
Championship campaign this time.
Croatia made a great start to Euro 2008 but went out in the
last eight to Turkey having sorely missed ex-Arsenal striker
Eduardo after the striker suffered an horrific shin and ankle
fracture in a Premier League match against Birmingham City.
BELGRADE, March 14 (Reuters) – Partizan Belgrade eased
the pressure off their new coach Avram Grant after handing the
Israeli his first win since he took charge of the Serbian
champions with a 2-1 victory over city rivals OFK on Wednesday.
The former Chelsea manager came under fire after two draws
against unfancied rivals which cut Partizan’s lead at the top to
six points as neighbours Red Star, looking for their first
league title since 2007, had closed in with a pair of wins.
Anyone who might have assumed the deteriorating form of English clubs in Europe since Manchester United won the 2008 Champions League resulted from a convergence of misfortunate circumstances such as tough draws or mounting injuries to key players has been emphatically refuted.
Come Thursday, the Premier League might be left without a single club to represent it in either the Champions League or the less fancied Europa League, where Manchester rivals City and United were not just beaten but also played off the park last week by rivals many of their fans will have considered second-class opposition.
BELGRADE, March 10 (Reuters) – Angry Partizan Belgrade fans
pelted coach Avram Grant with lighters on Saturday and chanted
his predecessor’s name after the former Chelsea manager failed
to get a first win after his second game in charge.
There was more serious crowd trouble across the Serbian
capital when Rad Belgrade and visiting Novi Pazar fans threw
rocks and flares at each other, forcing riot police to move in
and delay the second half for 10 minutes.
If the coaching merry-go-round puts Jose Mourinho back in the Chelsea hotseat after the 49-year old Portuguese left Stamford Bridge in 2007, it will be a testament to the old saying that nothing is impossible in football.
There seemed to be no way back for the self-acclaimed “Special One” after his acrimonious split with Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich, but their contrasting fortunes since have seemingly opened the door to what would be a spectacular return to English football for Mourinho.
BELGRADE, March 3 (Reuters) – Former Chelsea manager
Avram Grant made a poor debut with Serbian champions Partizan
Belgrade after they were held to a 1-1 draw at struggling first
division newcomers Novi Pazar on Saturday.
Partizan’s traditional city rivals Red Star took advantage
to cut their advantage at the top of the 16-team first division
to eight points with a 1-0 home win over Spartak Subotica.
NIS, Serbia, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Unidentified assailants
threw a hand grenade which exploded in the garden of the family
home of former Yugoslavia captain Dragan Stojkovic in the
southern Serbian town of Nis, police said on Sunday.
“The incident was reported yesterday afternoon and an
investigation was launched immediately,” Nis police spokeswoman
Lidija Pavlovic said.
BELGRADE, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Serbia’s caretaker coach
Radovan Curcic has called up five debutants for friendlies
against Armenia and Cyprus next week in a bid to inject fresh
blood into the side that failed to qualify for Euro 2012.
Curcic, appointed instead of Vladimir Petrovic in October
after being his assistant in a dreadful qualifying campaign,
also left out several stalwarts who disappointed in 2-0 defeats
by Mexico and Honduras.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Eight-times winners Real Madrid could face an early exit from basketball’s Euroleague after a 93-69 rout by fellow Spaniards Bilbao on Thursday.
Real Madrid, who played in last year’s final, were upset by their unfancied compatriots whose 9,000 fans in their jam-packed city arena roared them on to a decisive 34-14 lead in the first quarter.