The Balkan section of this site will look into the hooligan elements of Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. These countries are rife with extreme violence that is not usually associated with western hooligans.
In December 2007 a plain clothed Serbian police officer from the elite Gendarmerie Unit - Nebojsa Trajkovic (42) (pictured above) - 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.