Wales in Serbia in serious doubt.

Last updated : 25 March 2003 By Michael Morris
Wales fans have been left in limbo overnight with news that the game in Serbia in 8 days time is likely to be postponed.

As inconvenient it is for players and officials they do not have to pay up front for flights and accomodation, likely to be unrefundable for many fans.

There are security fears with Belgrade in a state of emergency after the assasination of their leader only a couple of weeks ago. There is a possibility of a venue switch with the game being taken out of Belgrade, that would cause it's own problems with upto 1500 fans booked to fly to the Serbian Capital.

It appears that a reversal of fixture with the game being played in Cardiff next week is very unlikely. There is even talk of awarding the points to Wales in Serbis & Montenegro cannot put the game on next week.

Keep a check on the website later today for more news.

News story from IC Wales.
The Football Association of Wales claim switching their Euro 2004 qualifier against Serbia and Montenegro from Belgrade to Cardiff is a "non-starter".

UEFA are considering a request from the Serbia and Montenegro FA to move the April 2 qualifier from the capital Belgrade as the country is in a state of emergency following the assassination of Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic earlier this month.

Wales will have to wait for the European governing body to reach a decision as they prepare for Saturday's crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Azerbaijan at the Millennium Stadium this weekend.

There is also the logistical problems involved with any proposed switch to another venue as accommodation, travel and training arrangements have already been made as well as hotels for 2,000 fans making the trip.

FAW secretary general David Collins told The Press Association: "The Serbian government have said that because of the state of emergency in their country that they now do not want the game played in Belgrade.

"We are now waiting for a decision from UEFA, which will probably come tomorrow.

"The suggestion from the Serbian FA that the game is switched to Cardiff is a non-starter.

"The pure logistics are impossible for us.

"We have a huge game in Cardiff on Saturday with a 72,000 sell-out crowd and we could not, at such short notice, organise another match like that."

The political situation in Serbia and Montenegro, formerly Yugoslavia, has impinged upon sport before.

They were excluded from competing in the 1992 European Championships in Sweden - a competition won by their late replacements Denmark - because of the war in the Balkans at the time.

There were also fears they would be unable to play at Euro 2000 because of the NATO bombing of Belgrade, though the team did eventually compete in the tournament in Belgium and Holland.

UEFA director of communications Mike Lee said: "Concerns regarding the staging of the game have been raised with us today.

"Discussions are now under way with the relevant authorities, and UEFA will make an announcement regarding this fixture on Tuesday."