FA want 'strongest possible action'

  • Last Updated: October 17 2012, 18:49 BST

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne has called on UEFA to take the "strongest possible action" against anyone found guilty of violence or racist abuse in Serbia on Tuesday night.

Danny Rose is shown a red card after the game

The aftermath of England's Under-21 play-off victory was scarred by a mass confrontation, with players from both sides clashing on the pitch.

England's Danny Rose was sent off for his reaction to what he clearly felt was racist abuse, something the Serbians have denied.

"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," said Horne.

The FA responded after the Serbian FA's statement which gave a different

version of events.

The hosts claim there was no racism, a view it believes is backed by UEFA, and the ugly post-match scenes were caused by Rose's reaction to England's 1-0 victory.

It is a version of events the FA reject completely, with Horne confirming a formal complaint has now been issued to UEFA.

"We were shocked and appalled by the disgraceful events that occurred in Serbia last night,'' he said.

"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 an FA crowd advisor, we are making a formal complaint to UEFA today.''

The FA has confirmed its officials complained to UEFA during the game about the racist abuse of the England players.

The governing body has launched a passionate defence of Rose and raised the prospect of refusing to send teams to Serbia in future.

"We have also been in contact with UEFA's senior executives to express our

deep concern at this matter,'' said Horne.

"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.

In a statement on its website, the Serbian FA said: ''(The) FA of Serbia absolutely refuses (sic) and denies that there were any occurrences of racism before and during the match at the stadium in Krusevac.

"Making connection between the seen incident - a fight between members of the two teams - and racism has absolutely no ground and we consider it to be a total malevolence.

"Unfortunately, after the fourth minute of the additional time and the victory goal scored by the guest team, unpleasant scenes were seen on the pitch.

"And while most of the English team players celebrated the score, their player number three, Danny Rose, behaved in an inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner towards the supporters on the stands at the stadium in Krusevac, and for that he was shown a red card.''

Rose, however, was clear in his version of events.

The Tottenham player, currently on loan at Sunderland, told Sky Sports News:

"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.

"As I went off again there was monkey chanting, but the monkey chanting started long before I got sent off.

"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.

"After 60 minutes my mind wasn't really on the game after that. I could have cost the lads the game because I made a few mistakes through notconcentrating.

"They have to be banned. I don't understand how else they can learn from it, they have to be banned.''

Sports minister Hugh Robertson was shown a YouTube clip filmed at the game which appears to show monkey chants taking place after the final whistle.

Robertson, who has written to UEFA president Michel Platini urging tough action, told Sky News: ''All you can say is that it speaks for itself, the evidence is there.

"I very much hope UEFA will use that and other pieces of evidence that are clearly available to take the toughest possible measures against anyone who is caught perpetrating this.

"No young man, or indeed woman, representing his or her country should be subjected at a sports fixture to this sort of vile abuse.''

Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle also believes a "significant'' ban is the most adequate punishment for the "utterly deplorable'' scenes.

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

"The message has to come from the top down that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

"It's immaterial where it is, who the perpetrators are. 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.

"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.''

Tottenham defender Adam Smith, who was alongside Rose on EnglandUnder-21 duty in Serbia, took to Twitter this morning to express his disgust at Tuesday night's events.

He posted: "Can't believe what I witnessed last night!! Horrible scenes!! This

racism abuse needs to stop!''

Stuart Pearce's team won Tuesday night's Euro 2013 play-off 1-0 (2-0 on aggregate) to qualify for the finals in Israel next year.


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