Four Serb football fans accept plea bargain

Rome: Four Serbian football fans have accepted plea bargains to avoid jail time over the violence that prompted a Euro 2012 qualifier between Italy and Serbia last October to be called off.

Some Serbian fans caused trouble inside and outside Genoa`s Marrassi stadium leading to the cancellation of the game after only six minutes of play.

Fans, including the infamous Ivan Bogdanov, the presumed ringleader, threw flares and bangers onto the pitch and at rival Italian fans.

Some had also tried to break down barriers separating them from the Italy supporters.

On Tuesday Strahinga Toljagic, 24, was convicted of threatening public officials and damages and given a two-year prison sentence.

Nedad Radovic, 30, Goran Stanic, 25, and Vladimir Dedic, 28, were all convicted of threatening public officials and sentenced to 22 months.

The terms of the plea bargain will see all four avoid prison time and instead be excluded from Italy for five years.

Bogdanov and three other Serb fans are yet to stand trial but have a variety of accusations levied against them.

They will go before the courts in Genoa in March with aggravated damages, aggravated threats and the violation of public order amongst the charges.

Italy were awarded a 3-0 victory in the game while Serbia were ordered to play their next home match behind closed doors.

Both the Italian and Serbian Football Federations were also hit with fines, 100,000-euros and 120,000-euros respectively.

Bureau Report