Partizan vs Cibona was interrupted tonight. A Hooligan clash that interrupts a game in the Adriatic League is nothing new, unfortunately. However, what happened tonight in Belgrade between Serbian home team Partizan and Cibona, the visiting team from Croatia, was something unusual.
Even before the game started there were Hooligans fighting each other, but it was not rival fans from Partizan and Cibona fighting each other, but rather Partizan fans among themselves!
Cibona fans were not even present in the gym since the Adriatic League does not allow visiting fans to attend any games in fear of war scenes at every game…(!)
There has been a great deal of unrest among Partizan fans for a long time, especially in regards to a fraction that calls themselves “the forbidden”. It was this fraction that got involved with another notorious fraction called “Alcatraz”.
Some fights broke out before the game started, but the ever-present riot police could prevent the situation from getting out of hand. However, the atmosphere remained tense and the rival fans bombarded each other with firecrackers, coins, and other objects. When this was also thrown on to the court, the refs stopped the game in the 12th minute and all players headed to the locker rooms.
Partizan team captain Vladimir Lucic tried to address the fans to stay calm, but it didn’t help. Then, coach Dusko Vujosevic also tried in vain and his plea even ended in a shouting contest with several fans.
While the players were in the locker room and the fans fighting each other with the riot police in the middle, the rest of the 4.000 “neutral” Partizan fans in the gym were shouting and chanting obscenities at the two fighting factions. It was a bizarre and surreal situation indeed.
While the riot police tried to clear some of the stances and throw out the two Hooligan groups it was actually the people behind the scorer’s table that managed to get it done, by threatening to stop the game with a 0-20 defeat of Partizan. Part of the gym was cleared, some arrests were made, and order was restored, so the game could resume again after a 20-minute interruption.
Partizan won the game with 74-68.
In other Adriatic League games, leader Igokea won at home against Radnicki and remains in first place. Red Star Belgrade won an important road game in Ljubljana against Olimpija, moving to a shared 2nd place with Partizan. Cedevita Zagreb suffered a shocking home defeat to KK Split and dropped to 5th place.
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