Final ends in walk-off

VOJVODINA Novi Sad have been charged by the Serbian FA after walking off the pitch and causing their cup final with Partizan Belgrade to be abandoned.

"We believe that swift and comprehensive action is the best way to restore order, identify the perpetrators and make sure this doesn't happen again," the Serbian FA (FSS) said in a statement. "What happened is a scandal of unseen proportions in the 63-year-old competition and the FSS has the strength as well as the capacity to deal with the problem and the individuals who caused it."

Vojvodina, led by coach Zoran Milinkovic, walked off in the 80th minute in protest against controversial refereeing decisions, handing Partizan their 12th Cup win. Partizan, who are also close to retaining their league title, led 2-1 in the final after midfielder Zvonimir Vukic converted a controversial spot kick and Vojvodina then had a goal disallowed and a strong penalty claim turned down.

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Having sarcastically applauded referee Slobodan Veselinovic and Partizan's players, who tried to persuade them to carry on, the Vojvodina team headed for the tunnel and boycotted the trophy presentation. Club president Ratko Butorovic, who had watched the match among the diehard fans, also left in a hurry in the most embarrassing ending to a Serbian Cup final.

"We will accept any reasonable decision but we are bracing ourselves for further punishment after having the Cup ripped away from our grasp," Butrovic told reporters.