FA may boycott Serbia in the future

18 October 2012 07:18

The Football Association has questioned whether they will play matches in Serbia again following the alleged racist abuse of the England Under-21 side.

FA general secretary Alex Horne also urged UEFA to take the strongest action against the Serbian FA. UEFA on Wednesday night announced charges against both the Serbian FA and the English for improper conduct of their players, and against the Serbs for "alleged racist chanting" by fans.

Danny Rose, the Tottenham defender on loan at Sunderland, was the target of racist chanting during the match, clearly audible on TV coverage of the game, but the Serbian FA issued a statement "absolutely" denying there was any racism at all and branding the England player's behaviour "vulgar".

The 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 match. As well as players being hit by missiles, there were numerous monkey chants and at the final whistle there were violent scenes directed at England players and coaching staff by the Serbian squad and technical staff.

Horne said in a statement: "We were shocked and appalled by the disgraceful events that occurred in Serbia. 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."

However, the Serbian FA statement, which they translated into English, denied that their fans were guilty of "any occurrences of racism".

"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," the statement read. "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.

"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."

Source: PA