Partizan Belgrade

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26 people arrested after massive soccer fan brawl in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Police in Serbia have arrested 26 people after a massive fan brawl during a soccer match between Belgrade rivals Red Star and Partizan left at least 20 people injured.

Police say foreign nationals are among those who were detained after Wednesday’s match, which ended 1-1. They did not specify the nationalities.

The brawl erupted between two rival Partizan fan groups. Several people suffered head injuries and burns from torches. Some fans were stripped naked before being kicked out of the stands as riot police intervened with batons.

Clashes between Partizan and Red Star fans have been common for one of the world’s most intense soccer rivalries.

With the draw, Red Star is leading Partizan by nine points halfway through the championship.

Fan racism earns Serbian champion two-game stadium ban

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) Serbian soccer champion Partizan Belgrade must play its next two European home games in an empty stadium as punishment for fan racism and crowd unrest.

Partizan was charged by UEFA with various offenses including racist behavior, firework use, and pitch invasions following two Champions League qualifying games against Montenegro’s Buducnost and Greek team Olympiakos.

[ MORE: Van Dijk signs transfer request ]

Besides the two-game empty stadium ruling, UEFA also hit Partizan with one more game behind closed doors, suspended for three years, and a fine of 130,000 euros ($153,000).

Partizan beat Buducnost 2-0 on aggregate, but lost to Olympiakos 5-3 over two legs in the next round.

Its first game behind closed doors will be a Europa League playoff round meeting with Hungarian club Videoton on Aug. 17.

Partizan Belgrade banned from UEFA competition for 3 years

Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images
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Gotta pay your bills, guys and girls.

Partizan Belgrade will not be able to compete in European competition for the next three years after FIFA ruled its continually failed to pay debts.

[ MORE: James rejects China ]

Partizan has 25 titles across three leagues in its history. Adem Llajic (Torino) and Stevan Jovetic (Sevilla) came through its youth ranks.

From the AP:

The ruling from UEFA says the 2015 Serbian champions had racked up almost 2.5 million euros ($2.6 million) in unpaid debts as of September, most of it to social and tax authorities in Serbia.

This could lead to an exodus of players from Partizan, even in this window.

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UEFA Champions League roundup: Hosts, including Manchester United, go five-for-five in playoff first legs

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Aside from a pair of away goals, the five visiting sides of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League playoff first legs don’t have much to do beside lick their wounds and hope for something better at home.

CSKA Moscow and Club Brugge both scored on the road, but both also lost on Tuesday. And Bayer Leverkusen, Partizan Belgrade and APOEL Nicosia find themselves down 1-0 after 90 road minutes.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

Here are your quick recaps:

Manchester United 3-1 Club Brugge
— RECAP | Van Gaal reacts

Memphis Depay scored twice and added a valuable stoppage time assist as the Red Devils overcame an early Michael Carrick own goal to set themselves up well for next Wednesday’s second leg in Belgium.

Lazio 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Keita Balde Diao scored in the 77th minute, eight minutes after Bayer had a goal controversially but correctly ruled offside.

BATE Borisov 1-0 Partizan Belgrade
The visitors went down to 10 men after a first half stoppage time red card, and Mikhail Gordeychuk reaped the rewards off a corner kick with a quarter hour to play.

Astana 1-0 APOEL Nicosia
Eleven-times capped Kazakh midfielder Bauryzhan Dzolchiev, 25, scored the lone goal of a close match in the 13th minute.

source: AP
Ruiz (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Sporting Lisbon 2-1 CSKA Moscow
Islam Slimani’s 82nd minute goal lifts the Portuguese side into a first leg lead. Seydou Doumbia scored for the visitors. Costa Rican attacker Bryan Ruiz had an assist for the victors.

Wednesday’s UCL first legs (all at 2:45 p.m. ET)
Valencia vs. Monaco
Basel vs. Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Celtic vs. Malmo
Rapid Wien vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Skenderbeu vs. GNK Dinamo

Belgrade rivalry again results in riots, injuries

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The rivalry in the Serbian capital between Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade has often resulted in clashes between fans that require riot police and other means of crowd control.

Saturday, that turned ugly.

According to the Associated Press, over 50 people were injured and 40 arrested as the two sides clashed before the match at Red Star Stadium in Belgrade. The riots caused a 40-minute delay to the match, and sent a number of fans to the hospital. This rivalry, often known as the Eternal Derby, has often caused unrest and violence among fans.

The report states fans flung stones towards each other and fought with sticks as riot police attempted to break up the clashes. Fans responded by throwing chairs and flares at the riot police, as crowds could be seen lighting flares of Partizan yellow and Red Star red. Smoke grenades were also tossed onto the field. The game finally got under way, but was halted in the second half again to let smoke clear.

The match ended in a 0-0 draw, maintaining Partizan’s five-point lead at the top of the table over the defending champions Red Star. The winner of the Serbian league earns a bid into Champions League second qualifying round, while the second and third place finishers find themselves among the Europa League.

Partizan fans light flares of their team’s colors (Photo: Getty Images)
source: Getty Images
Red Star fans hold their own rallies with flares alight (Photo: Getty Images)