Serbian FA demand statements from all involved in hate-filled U21 defeat to England
13:24 GMT, 18 October 2012
All Serbia's players and staff involved in Tuesday night's hugely controversial UEFA Under 21 playoff against England have been asked to make formal statements.
The match, which England won 1-0 thanks to a last-minute goal from Connor Wickham to complete a 2-0 aggregate triumph, was marred by unsavoury scenes at the final whistle with scuffling on the pitch amid accusations of racism from the stands towards England left-back Danny Rose.
The Serbian federation (FSS) has announced its disciplinary committee held an extraordinary session this morning at which the request was made.
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Fury: Danny Rose (right) is separated from Serbian player Milos Ninkovic by England colleague Craig Dawson
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UEFA on Wednesday night announced
charges against both the FSS and the English Football Association for
the improper conduct of their players, and against the Serbs for
'alleged racist chanting' by fans.
The FSS has now revealed an internal investigation is also under way.
A statement on its official website
read: 'In Belgrade today, there was an extraordinary session of the
disciplinary committee of the Football Association of Serbia.
'It was decided to officially request
statements from all the players and members of the professional staff
of the under-21 Serbia national team who took part in the second leg of
the play-off on October 16 in Krusevac.
'The deadline for submission of these
statements is three days. The disciplinary committee will decide which
individuals will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.'
The war of words which has erupted
following the game continued today, with Serbia midfielder Nikola
Ninkovic claiming the aggression he showed towards Rose was caused by
his opponent's 'inappropriate gestures' towards the home supporters.
Rose was sent off after the game had
ended for kicking the ball away in anger at what he perceived was racist
abuse from the crowd.
Seeing red: Rose is sent off by referee Huseyin Gocek after kicking a ball into the crowd
Ninkovic claims Rose was the
instigator in the trouble, telling Serbian newspaper Novosti: 'The guy
three or four times made inappropriate gestures towards our fans.
'I was angered by his reaction so I
rushed over to explain to him that he should not do that. I did not mean
to hit him or insult him. I walked over to him and pushed him.
'A lot of his behaviour annoyed me but I know I was wrong and I know I will get a fine. I just hope it will not be too big.
'He received a red card and I got a yellow. That is probably an indication that his share of the story was significant.'
Serbian FA president Tomislav Karadzic has apologised for his players' involvement but claimed they were not solely to blame.
'We witnessed ugly and inappropriate
scenes after the match in Krusevac,' he said. 'I take this opportunity
to once again apologise to all fans of football and the English FA's
Fracas: England and Serbia players clash after the final whistle
'The incident saw a fight which included individual players and members of the coaching staffs from both teams
'I have sent an apology on behalf of our association as we hosted the match, not that I think it was only our fault.'
He added: 'There was unacceptable
behaviour from certain members of our team. Youth is not an excuse for
foul and unsportsmanlike conduct and cannot be an excuse for individuals
from the staff who clearly violated the rules.
'I am pleased that the members of the disciplinary committee met today and requested the necessary information.'
Karadzic dismissed the notion that racism was a problem in Serbia.
'The Serbian people have never been,
nor will be racist,' he said. 'Our history testifies to this and the
crowd's reaction to the defeat should not be confused with one of the
greatest evils of the modern era. We have great confidence in the
authorities and UEFA to implement the correct procedures.'
Enraged: Marvin Sordell erupts next to the players' tunnel
Fist of fury: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic throws a punch
The English FA has sent UEFA a full
dossier of evidence, including video footage and a catalogue of
incidents which they reported to match officials during and after the
And FA general secretary Alex Horne has questioned whether they will play matches in Serbia again.
Horne said in a statement: 'We were shocked and appalled by the disgraceful events that occurred in Serbia.
Peacemaker: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica attempts to keep players apart
Under attack: England coach Steve Wigley is thrown to the ground by Serbian players
'Our players and staff were subjected
to racial abuse (and) violence as well as missiles being thrown at them
throughout the match. What occurred is inexcusable and not acceptable.
'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.
'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.'
The cases will be dealt with at a meeting of UEFA's control and disciplinary body on November 22.
Video of the sickening monkey chants at the final whistle
But Rio Ferdinand accused the FA of double standards in taking a tougher line against racism abroad than they do at home.
He tweeted: ‘Agreed, All jump on bandwagon when judging everyone else but all bottle merchants when it’s on home soil #DoubleStandards’.
The tweet was a reference to how Ferdinand believes he and his brother Anton were treated during the investigation into the racist comments aimed by John Terry at Anton during a game.
Serbia rap sheet
October 2000: Lazio’s Sinisa Mihajlovic, now Serbia’s coach, banned for two games for racially abusing Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira in Uefa Cup tie.
June 2007: Serbian FA fined 16,500 after England Under 21 players racially abused at European Championship.
July 2007: Partizan Belgrade kicked out of Uefa Cup after fans threw stones and fought with Zrinjski Mostar fans in Bosnia. Partizan also fined 25,000.
Sept 2009: French fan Brice Taton, 28, murdered by 30-strong group armed with iron bars and baseball bats ahead of Europa League match between Partizan and Toulouse. A Serbian court later jailed 14 men for a total of 240 years.
Oct 2010: Italy awarded 3-0 victory after Euro 2012 qualifier in Genoa against Serbia was abandoned after trouble from travelling hooligans. Game halted after six minutes, Serbs fined 104,000.