Partizan Belgrade fans arrested and banned: Moldova fears of Russian coup

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Europa Conference League: Ban for fans

Partizan Belgrade fans "Grobari" have been banned from traveling to watch their side play Sheriff Tiraspol as tensions escalate in Moldova amid fears Russia may be planning a coup, writes Independent.

Partizan and Sheriff are due to meet in the first leg of their Europa Conference League knockout play-off tie on Thursday in a match that will now be played behind closed doors.

The President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, said on Monday that she feared Russia were preparing an attempt to overthrow her government.

Sandu further suggested that citizens of Russia, Belarus, Montenegro and Serbia may be used as part of the plot, with government official Andrian Keptonar suggesting on television that Serbians may have been attempting to enter Moldova under the guise of football fans.

The country, situated between Ukraine and Romania, had temporarily closed its airspace on Tuesday, and FC Sheriff confirmed that the Moldovan authorities had ordered their match to be played without fans in attendance.

Reports in Moldova suggested that 12 Partizan fans had been blocked from entering Chisinau on Monday night.

The Serbian football club “Partizan” press service confirmed the ban on the entry of fans to Moldova. They noted that those football fans who had already arrived in the country were deported.