Carlisle calls for Serbia ban

  • Last Updated: October 17 2012, 9:45 BST

Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle has backed calls for Serbia to receive a "significant" international ban after the "utterly deplorable" scenes in Krusevac on Tuesday night.

Tempers boiled over in Serbia

The Football Association has complained to UEFA after England Under-21 players were subjected to racist and physical abuse at the end of the European Championship play-off second leg.

Serbian supporters, players and other officials appeared to get involved while England defender Danny Rose was sent off after the final whistle for reacting angrily to apparent racial abuse.

Carlisle watched the chaos and violence unfold in the ESPN studio alongside former England midfielder Paul Ince, who called for Serbia to be kicked out of the next 10 qualification campaigns for major tournaments.

And the 33-year-old agreed a hefty punishment was the only answer.

"You should not have to experience those scenes in this day and age. It was utterly deplorable behaviour," Carlisle told BBC Radio Five.

"It's quite farcical. A guy is racially abused and then he gets punished for containing his reaction to that.

"We saw how the whole debacle progressed into punching, kicking...we saw photos of headbutts going on in the staff. But Danny Rose for kicking a ball away ends up getting himself sent off. This is just wrong.

"UEFA need to make a standpoint here and more importantly FIFA, I feel, because it was a FIFA qualification tournament. The message has to come from the top down that this behaviour will not be tolerated."

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce had spoken before the game of his confidence that the issue of racism would not raise itself.

A match between the two countries at the 2007 Under-21 European Championship in Holland was marred when England defender Nedum Onuoha was racially abused.

Serbia were fined £16,000 by European governing body UEFA after that incident.

Carlisle believes a lengthy ban would force Serbia to address the issue.

"It's immaterial where it is, who the perpetrators are," he said. "What's material is that the governing bodies lay down extremely harsh sanctions so that they deter countries and people from acting in this way.

"You can draw parity with what happened to English football when we were kicked out of Europe for the violence (following the 1985 Heysel disaster) - that instigated a period of self-governance.

"I believe Serbia should be banned because it's a repeat offence.

"Banning them for a start, from any tournament, would be progress but I think if it's significant - if it's a couple of tournaments - then that would cause that nation to address the issue that has deprived them of international competition."

Reading striker Jason Roberts accused UEFA of not dealing adequately with past racism issues and said players should take action themselves by walking off the pitch if subjected to racist abuse.

The 34-year-old told BBC Radio Five: "I was absolutely fuming at what I saw. To think this was an England Under-21 game and another generation of players is seeing this sort of behaviour makes me very sad and makes me aware of the fact we haven't moved far enough.

"Everyone says UEFA needs to be stronger, do this and do that. They've shown they have no stomach for this battle. They haven't taken it on in the past. I doubt they will now with poultry fines and slapping on the wrists.

"So that's why it's time for players to take action. I'll go one further and say players should walk off the pitch because - guaranteed - if that happened, things would change."

Connor Wickham's stoppage-time goal, which clinched a 2-0 aggregate success, prompted a hail of missiles from the crowd and scuffles broke out moments later.

Asked if a failure to rescind Rose's red card would leave UEFA's bid to stamp out racism in tatters, Roberts replied: "I would say it's in tatters already.

"The (official UEFA) match report doesn't even mention what happened. I think that just shows they would like to sweep it under the carpet and make out we don't have these problems in football when clearly we do."


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