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Angry Bosnian fans set referee’s car on fire

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Several fans of Bosnian top-flight side Velez Mostar set on fire the car of a referee after being angered by decisions he made during their team’s match, police said Wednesday.

The match played in Mostar, in southern Bosnia, was interrupted a few minutes before the end on Tuesday after dozens of angry Velez supporters invaded the pitch.

Referee Sabrija Topalovic and his two assistants left for Sarajevo but their car was intercepted in a tunnel by another vehicle with four people on board, a police officer told AFP.

“After damaging the car they threw a burning torch in it.”

One person was injured and hospitalised in nearby Jablanica, he said, and added the search for the assailants was still ongoing.

Local media published a photo of the burned-out car.

Velez Mostar fans stormed the pitch in the 82nd minute of the match, after reigning Bosnian champions Borac Banja Luka scored to take a 2-0 lead.

During the game Velez supporters protested several decisions made by referee.

Such incidents are rather rare in Bosnian football, although referees are sometimes accused of corruption.

In late 2020, two referees and an official of Bosnia’s second division referees’ commission were charged for fixing matches for 1,500 to 3,500 euros ($1,760 to $4,100) per game.

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