England urge action against Serbia over racism

Updated: 17 October 2012 17:20 IST

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday led calls for European football's governing body to take a strong line against Serbia, after claims that several England under-21 players were subjected to racist abuse.

England urge action against Serbia over racism

London:

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday led calls for European football's governing body to take a strong line against Serbia, after claims that several England under-21 players were subjected to racist abuse.


The British leader was said to have been "appalled" at the scenes from the match in Krusevac on Tuesday night, which England won 2-0 on aggregate with an injury-time goal to secure them qualification for next year's European championships.

Cameron wanted "tough sanctions" against Serbian football if racism is proven, his official spokesman told reporters. Sports minister Hugh Robertson also backed action, adding that he had written to UEFA president Michel Platini about the game.

In chaotic scenes, England defender Danny Rose was sent off for kicking the ball away in response to what he said was monkey chanting and physical provocation, as scuffles broke out between players, coaches and supporters at the end of the match.

Rose, who also said stones were thrown at his head, called for Serbia to be banned from European competition.

"I remember getting slapped twice and then I got ushered away. That's when I kicked the ball -- and the referee sent me off. I don't understand, the game had finished by then but he still sent me off for kicking the ball," he said.

"As I went off again there was monkey chanting, but the monkey chanting started long before I got sent off," Rose, who is on loan from Tottenham to Sunderland, told Sky Sports News television.

"After 60 minutes my head wasn't really on the game. They (Serbia) have to be banned. I don't understand how else they can learn from it, they have to be banned."

Robertson said he had given his full backing to England's Football Association governing body, who have reported a number of incidents of racism to UEFA.

The minister said: "The scenes at the end of the game last night were disgraceful. I have written to UEFA president Michel Platini, in support of the FA, urging them to investigate immediately.

"Racism in any form is unacceptable and must be stamped out. We would expect tough sanctions from UEFA on anyone found guilty of racist abuse."

England's assistant coach Steve Wigley became embroiled in the trouble and was pushed as he made his way off the pitch.

Rose said the problems started early in the evening.

"It started when we went out for the warm-up," he said. "They started the monkey chanting straight away. I asked the lads if they could hear it and they said they could hear it.

"Halfway through the warm-up I went to 'Wigs', the assistant manager, and told him what was happening.

"He said I had to try my best to get through it and they would deal with it straight away after the game.

"In the first half I went down to get the ball for a throw-in and the fans started again with the monkey chants but the first half was nowhere near as bad as the second half.

"In the second half I had two stones hit me on the head when I went to get the ball for a throw-in. Every time I touched the ball there was monkey chanting again."



Topics : Football Michel Platini
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