Serbian FA waive right to appeal riot verdict

BELGRADE, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The Serbian Football Association (FSS) has waived its right to appeal against UEFA's punishment over the national team's abandoned Euro 2012 qualifier away to Italy last month.

"The Football Association of Serbia has decided to accept the punitive measures passed by UEFA after the FSS top officials and the body's legal team assessed that an appeal would not have positive effects," the FSS said in a statement on Friday.

The FSS decision is a U-turn after its president Tomislav Karadzic had said the body would appeal and ask for a replay following UEFA's verdict on October 29.

Italy were awarded a 3-0 win after visiting Serbian fans rioted before, during and after the Group C qualifier in Genoa on October 12, having forced the game to be abandoned after only six minutes.

They threw flares at home fans and supporters straight after the kickoff, while they also attacked their own team bus before the match and clashed with riot police outside the Luigi Ferraris stadium after the game was abandoned.

Serbia were also ordered to play their next home match against Northern Ireland behind closed doors on March 25 and fined 120,000 euros.

In addition, they were told they would be forced to play another home game with no fans if there was any comparable incident in the next two years and ordered to refrain from allocating tickets for their remaining away qualifiers.

Italy were fined 100,000 euros and handed a suspended sentence of a one-match crowd ban for a period of two years.

Italy lead the group with 10 points from four games, followed by Slovenia on seven and Estonia on six points from four matches. Northern Ireland have five points from three matches and Serbia four points from as many games.

The nine group winners and the best second-placed teams will qualify automatically for the 16-team event in Poland and Ukraine while the remaining eight runners-up will contest the other four berths in a two-legged play-off.


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