• Under-21 Championship qualifying

FA condemns 'disgraceful events' in Serbia

ESPN staff
October 17, 2012

The Football Association has urged UEFA to take the "strongest possible action" against Serbia after a number of England's Under-21 players were subjected to racial abuse during their Euro 2013 play-off.

Danny Rose has called for Serbia to be banned from international competition after he was a victim of racial abuse during their 1-0 win over Serbia on Tuesday.

The Serbian FA have denied any form of racism and claimed Rose behaved in an "inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner" during the bad-tempered clash in Krusevac.

A brawl broke out after the final whistle following Connor Wickham's injury time winner, with Rose being sent off for kicking the ball away.

England U21 boss Stuart Pearce told ESPN after the match they would be making a formal complaint and FA general secretary Alex Horne confirmed they had been in contact with UEFA's senior executives to express their concern.

"We were shocked and appalled by the disgraceful events that occurred in Serbia last night," Horne said in a statement. "Our players and staff were subjected to racial abuse, violence as well as missiles being thrown at them throughout the match. What occurred is inexcusable and not acceptable.

"After collating evidence from those present, including a senior UK Football Policing Unit representative, we are making a formal complaint to UEFA [on Wednesday]. We call on UEFA to take the strongest possible action against the Serbian FA, their supporters and anyone found guilty of being involved in the numerous instances of violence and abuse. We have also been in contact with UEFA's senior executives to express our deep concern at this matter.

"It is also clear that we must defend Danny Rose, who was sent off due to the frustration of being a target of racial abuse. FA officials made UEFA officials aware of racist abuse from sections of the crowd aimed at a number of England's black players at half-time on Tuesday evening. This matter was discussed again during a meeting with UEFA after those disgraceful scenes which followed the final whistle.

"No football team should be asked to play in any environment where racial abuse, violence and threatening behaviour is prevalent. We must question the validity of sending a team to Serbia in the future. We look forward to UEFA dealing with last night's events as a matter of urgency."

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