Italy’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Serbia was abandoned last night after fireworks and other missiles were hurled on the pitch during the crucial EUFA Group C qualifier.

Scottish referee Craig Thomson was forced to halt the game and evacuate the stadium just seven minutes into the crucial match, after Serbian fans hurled missiles at Italian supporters and players.

A firework just missed Italy’s goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.

The violence followed pre-match clashes in the city, in which Serbian fans attacked their own players as their team bus made its way to Genoa’s Luigi Ferraris stadium.

Serbia’s goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic had also received death threats prior to yesterday’s match.

The match was delayed by 45 minutes while the Serbian team recovered from their ordeal.

UEFA bosses could award Italy a win by default.

Italian Football Federation security chief Roberto Massucci blamed the Serbian authorities for allowing the troublemakers to travel to Italy for the game.

He said: “Fans that are so dangerous should not have arrived in Genoa. They should have been stopped by the Serbian officials.”

The head of the Serbian Football Association, Tomislav Karadzic, said: “We had indications that this would happen.”

He added that the violence had brought shame on his country.

Yesterday’s match was supposed to be played in memory of four Italian soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Words: Adam Edwards