Serbian Ivan Bogdanov sentenced to jail
GENOA, Italy -- A Serbian fan has been convicted for instigating a riot at a European Championship qualifier in Italy in October, receiving a jail sentence of three years, three months.
Wearing a black mask to cover his face, 29-year-old Ivan Bogdanov climbed onto a barrier separating fans from the field, used a wire cutter to slice apart a mesh fence and launched fireworks onto the field as he encouraged other Serbian fans to do the same.
European soccer's governing body awarded Italy a 3-0 win over Serbia after the Oct. 12 match was stopped in the seventh minute with the score 0-0. The Union of European Football Associations also ordered Serbia to play its March 25 home match against Northern Ireland in an empty stadium.
Three other Serbian fans received slightly shorter sentences at the trial in Genoa, with charges ranging from resisting public officials to damaging public property, as well as violating rules for behavior inside stadiums, the ANSA news agency said.
Four other Serbia fans agreed to a plea bargain last month in which they were released from jail and banned from Italy for five years.
Bogdanov and the other fans on trial have been held in Genoa since the match.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press