FA to fight UEFA bans handed to Caulker and Ince after U21 play-off in Serbia
18:49 GMT, 8 January 2013
02:14 GMT, 9 January 2013
The Football Association have confirmed they have officially appealed against UEFA's bans against Steven Caulker and Tom Ince over England Under 21's heated European Championship play-off against Serbia.
Spurs defender Caulker was given a two-match ban and Blackpool winger Ince a one-match suspension after clashes between players and coaching staff at the end of the match in Krusevac in October.
FA general secretary Alex Horne said last month the FA intended to appeal against the bans.
Fight the ban: The FA have confirmed they will fight the bans handed to Steven Caulker and Tom Ince
He said then: 'It is the FA's vehement belief that its players and staff acted correctly in the face of provocation, including racist abuse and missiles being thrown.
'We are therefore surprised to see that two of our players have been given suspensions.
'We shall await UEFA's reasoning but it is our intention, at this stage, to support our players and appeal these decisions.'
UEFA ordered Serbia to play their next under-21 international behind closed doors following racist chanting and violent scenes during and after the clash.
The FA had reported the racist abuse to UEFA plus a number of other incidents. Full-back Danny Rose, who was dismissed after the final whistle for kicking the ball away in anger, complained he had been particularly targeted.
Nasty scenes: Players and coaching staff from both sides clashed after the final whistle
Rose claimed he was subjected to monkey chants throughout the match and as he left the pitch.
The Serbia FA was also fined 80,000 euros (65,000) 'for the improper conduct of its supporters during and at the end of the match, as well as for the improper conduct of the Serbia players at the end of the game'.
Serbia fitness coach Andreja Milunovic, who attacked England officials, was banned for two years, the second of which is suspended for three years. Serbia assistant coach Predrag Katic was also banned for two years, the final six months of which suspended for three years.
Four Serbia players were also banned – Goran Causic for four matches, Ognjen Mudrinski and Filip Malbasic for three and Nikola Ninkovic for two.
The punishments meted out were widely condemned in some quarters at the time, while UEFA announced it would appeal against all the sanctions imposed by its control and disciplinary body in relation to the match.
Ban: Serbia have been ordered to play their next game behind closed doors
Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of football's anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, said last month: 'Kick It Out shares the concerns of many in football that abuse aimed at black players isn't taken seriously enough.
'This is a paltry slap on the wrist and again we haven't seen decisive action from UEFA.'
Sports minister Hugh Robertson, who had written to UEFA president Michel Platini demanding tough action for the racist abuse, expressed his disappointment.
Robertson said: 'I am disappointed in the punishment that has been awarded to the Serbian FA given the widespread racist abuse that England's Under-21 team suffered that night. Racism is completely unacceptable and we need tough sanctions to help combat it.'
Piara Powar, executive director of European anti-discrimination body FARE, also believed the punishment should have been more severe.
Powar said: 'We are disappointed in the totality of the sanction handed out to the Serbian FA. The original offences warranted a more severe collective punishment than a ban on spectators for one match.
'This is a moment in which leadership to challenge discrimination is needed from all authorities. This sanction falls short of that objective.
'We fully acknowledge the unilateral action taken by the Serbian FA in suspending players and sacking coaches in the wake of the match, but they need to demonstrate a wider commitment to educate their supporters and work towards tolerance.'