Montenegrin FA blasts fans after Euro 2016 qualifier abandoned

Montenegrin soccer fans who forced Friday`s Euro 2016 qualifier against Russia to be abandoned are hypocrites and barbarians, the general secretary of the Adriatic republic`s football association said.

Montenegrin FA blasts fans after Euro 2016 qualifier abandoned

Podgorica: Montenegrin soccer fans who forced Friday`s Euro 2016 qualifier against Russia to be abandoned are hypocrites and barbarians, the general secretary of the Adriatic republic`s football association said.

The Group G match ended midway through the second half after two outbursts of violence, the first 25 seconds after kickoff when a home fan hit Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev with a flare in the head.

The match resumed after a 33-minute delay but following fighting between rival fans during halftime and a further 18-minute delay for the second half to begin, more trouble erupted.

German referee Deniz Aytekin called the game off in the 67th minute after Russian midfielder Dmitri Kombarov was hit by a missile from the terraces following a scuffle between players on the touchline.

"These fans sing `Montenegro we love you` but throw flares, insult rivals and cause all sorts of incidents every time they turn up and that`s outright hypocrisy," general secretary Momir Djurdjevac told reporters after the ugly scenes in the stadium.

"We have left the impression of barbarians and this is a complete disaster. It seems we don`t deserve to have a nation, a soccer team or a berth in a major tournament.

"As far as I am concerned the game should not have continued after the first-minute incident. We can only thank God that no one was seriously hurt."

Akinfeev was taken to hospital with concussion and neck burns, undergoing a brain scan and a number of other tests.

Montenegrin media also reported a charged atmosphere in Podgorica several hours before kickoff with riot police deployed in numbers to separate rival fans congregating in the city centre.

The incident happened only three days after UEFA president Michel Platini said that Europe risked a return to the "dark days" of its hooligan-plagued past.

"UEFA condemns all kinds of violence and we regret the incidents that took place in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying game between Montenegro and Russia in Podgorica," UEFA`s head of media Pedro Pinto said in a statement to Reuters.

"We are waiting for the official reports from the delegate and referee from which disciplinary cases will be open, most likely on Monday."

UEFA said it would wait for reports from the match delegate and the referee before opening disciplinary proceedings and Djurdjevac acknowledged any punishment would be suitable.

"We will in all likelihood pay a hefty fine and say goodbye to a major tournament but what scares me is that this can happen again and someone must step forward and say `Enough`," he said.

"Who wants to play for the national team under such circumstances?

"These players have a big dream and it`s to qualify with our tiny nation for a major tournament but we are going nowhere."

Montenegro, who have never qualified for a World Cup or a European Championship as an independent nation, are level with the Russians on five points from four games.

Austria lead the group with 13 points from five games, followed by Sweden on nine from the same number of matches.

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