Platini set to challenge Serbia verdict
Published : 14 Dec 2012 18:17:17
UEFA president Michel Platini is set to appeal in an attempt to increase the punishment imposed on Serbia for racist abuse and violence towards England Under-21 players.
The sanction, imposed by UEFA's independent control and disciplinary panel, means Serbia's Under-21 side will have to play one match in front of no spectators, and the Serbian FA have been fined 80,000 euros - equating to £65,000 - following incidents in the match against England's youngsters on October 16 in Krusevac.
UEFA itself can appeal to increase the severity of the punishment, and sources at the European governing body said Platini has taken note of the sanction and will make a final decision once he has read the full file on his return from the Club World Cup in Japan next week.
The European body's prosecuting inspector had proposed more "drastic" measures, the Serbian federation has admitted. Meanwhile, the Professional Footballers' Association on Friday added to the criticism and said they had been looking to UEFA to send out a strong message as a deterrent.
The PFA will also back appeals against bans imposed on two England under-21 players. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: "This is a totally inadequate fine which sends a very poor message out to the football world.
"I intend to write to Michel Platini expressing our dissatisfaction and will be asking UEFA to exercise its powers to appeal against the wholly disproportionate punishments imposed against Serbia. In addition, we will strongly support the FA in their appeal against the decision to suspend Steven Caulker and Thomas Ince."
Caulker received a two-match ban and Ince a one-match punishment following ugly scenes that marred the end of the European Championship play-off, which England won to reach next summer's finals.
QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, who the FA found was the target of racial language by John Terry last year, contrasted the sanction against Serbia with the 100,000 euros (£80,000) and one-match ban handed to Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner for displaying a betting firm's logo on his underpants during Euro 2012.
Ferdinand tweeted: "Wow UEFA ain't serious with their punishment... So showin a sponsor is worst than racism and fighting!"
Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of the campaign group Kick It Out, has called for matches to be stopped if there is racist chanting from the crowd. He told BBC Radio Four: "If necessary games should be stopped and sections of the crowd who are behaving badly should be shown the door."