Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The Serbian Football Association has denied there was any racism towards the England Under-21 team in Tuesday's Euro 2013 play-off despite despite damning video evidence and condemnation from players, pundits and politicians.

In an astonishing statement, the Serbian governing body claimed the match in Krusevac was played in a 'sports atmosphere full of respecting fair-play spirit' and flatly denies any monkey chants or racist taunts were directed at English players.

It goes on to accuse Danny Rose, the primary target of the abuse, behaved in an 'inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner' towards supporters after being sent off after the final whistle.

Twenty two years old Rose had earlier spoke of how he was taunted before, during and after the game by racist thugs and had kicked a ball into the crowd out of sheer anger and frustration, earning him a second yellow card. H for had called for Serbia to be "banned"
 Connor Wickham scored in the 90th minute as Stuart Pearce's England side qualified for Euro 2013, with the goal sparking a series of scuffles between players and staff on both sides as missiles were thrown onto the field.

Prime Minister David Cameron has led the calls for UEFA to impose "tough sanctions" on racism, while sports minister Hugh Robertson has written to Uefa president Michel Platini alleging "extreme provocation and racism".

The FA reported "a number of incidents of racism" to Uefa after the match, while Rose's account of the abuse aimed at him has been published on the FA's official website.

The Serbian FA says making a connection between the on-pitch scuffles and racism has "absolutely no ground" adding there was a "spirit of fair play on the pitch and in the stands". 

The statement, published on the Serbian FA website, said: 'FA of Serbia absolutely refuses 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 [sic].'

It continued: 'Unfortunately, after the fourth minute of the additional time and the victory goal scored by the guest team, unpleasant scenes were seen at the pitch.
'And while most of the English team players celebrated the score, their player No 3, 

Danny Rose, behaved in 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.'

England players and coaching staff were confronted by Serbian players, coaches and supporters who had run onto the pitch.

Goalkeeping coach Martin Thomas was headbutted and assistant head coach Steve Wigley kicked in the stomach in ugly scenes for which the Serbian FA apologised and promised to investigate.

England goalkeeper Jack Butland was also pelted with smoke flares and a seat.

But it failed to acknowledge the treatment of Rose - and England's other black players - throughout the game, and countered that the match officials had not mentioned racism at all in their preliminary reports.

My take: The Serbia FA should be ashamed of themselves. Despite video evidence to prove that Danny Rose and co were actually subjected to racist abuse and wide condemnation, not just in Europe but here in Africa, they still came out with ,what i call, annoying statement which shows they are not remorseful at all.

What does it take to say sorry? Nothing!.  The Senegalese FA apologised after an Africa cup of nation qualifier match with Ivory Coast was abandoned due to crowd trouble. Even the President of the nation condemned what the fans did. 

This shouldn't be left on UEFA's door alone. FIFA should step in and ban Serbia from international football with hefty fines as well. We cannot continue like this. They should be used as a deterrent to those who racially abuse people in sports. 

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