The Serbian press has spent most of the week soul-searching in the aftermath of a truly terrifying attack that took place on Sunday.
A plain clothed police officer from the elite Gendarmerie Unit – Nebojsa Trajkovic (42) – was identified in the stands by hooligans from Red Star Belgrade’s notorious “Delije” (heroes) firm who attacked him with broken chairs and attempted to set him on fire with flares.
The entire incident was broadcast live on TV. The terrified and badly injured policeman was forced to fire warning shots into the air to save himself from the mob.
Eventually colleagues managed to get to him and save his life. The fighting continued both inside and outside the stadium.
Several hooligans have been arrested and charged so far. They face charges ranging from public violence to attempted murder.
Officer Trajkovic suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns (non scarring ) to his face and body, as well as lacerations, bruising and mental trauma. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Football hooliganism is a massive problem in Serbia, where an under-funded and partially reformed police force are up against hordes of unemployed and angry young men – the lost, disinherited “war generation” that is bearing the brunt of Serbia’s economic and social hardships.
Red Star to be held responsible – Blic
Two arrested over brutal stadium attack – B92
High time to deal with hooliganism – Blic
Injured police officer in stable condition – B92
Hooligans seriously injure policeman during match – B92
Hooligans clash with police – Blic
MSL: Week of shame for Serbian football – B92