Serbian FA deny racism claims
The Serbian FA have denied there were any racist chants before and during their Under-21 match against England on Tuesday.
There were ugly scenes at the end of the game when Connor Wickham’s 90th minute goal sparked scuffles between players and staff on both sides, while fans reacted by throwing missiles onto the pitch.
England defender Danny Rose was sent off after the final whistle for kicking a ball in anger in response to the sustained racial abuse he had been subjected to throughout the match.
Serbia Under-21 boss Aleksandar Jankovic caused controversy when he suggested that had nothing to apologise for, and the Serbian FA have refused to admit there was any racism towards the England Under-21 team.
“(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,” a 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.
“Unfortunately, after the fourth minute of the additional time and the victory goal scored by the guest team, unpleasant scenes were seen on the pitch.
“And while most of the English team players celebrated the score, their player number three, 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.”
The Serbian FA will launch an internal investigation into the incident and have called on their English counterparts to follow suit.
“The Football Association of Serbia apologises to the guests from England and the overall football community because of the unsportsmanlike behaviour of a part of the technical staff and players of the Serbian U-21 team,” the statement added.
“By this we inform the overall public that we will, as a matter of urgency, start an internal disciplinary procedure and punish the culprits after reviewing all the reports.
“It will be done whether a disciplinary procedure by the responsible UEFA bodies will be started or not.
“Furthermore, we will not either accept the fact that our players and members of the technical staff were provoked by the gesture of the English player Rose, since violence has no place at sports events.
“To be honest, we expect the same investigation from the English FA.”by: Michelle, October 17, 2012