Aleksandar Kolarov tried to justify the Belgrade crowd drowning out Italy's national anthem. “The responsibility lies with what happened in Genoa.”
Last night the anthem was barely audible beneath the jeers ahead of the 1-1 draw between Italy and Serbia.
“An anthem should not be jeered, but in this case I think the responsibility lies with what happened in Genoa,” said the Manchester City full-back and former Lazio star.
The first Euro 2012 qualifier between these teams had to be abandoned at the Stadio Ferraris last year when Serbian hooligans threw objects on to the pitch, kicked in Plexiglas barriers and sliced through the protective netting with bolt-cutters.
Before the game, these hooligans had also attacked the Serbian team bus and made threats, reportedly enough to prompt their goalkeeper to back out of playing.
“In Serbia we would never have abandoned a game like that, because we'd have stopped the hooligans first,” insisted Kolarov.
“Why did the Italian police not do the same? In Italy the police has killed people and nobody talks about that, while Serbia are judged for the trouble caused by five people.”
Italy were handed the 3-0 victory by UEFA.