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Serbia vs England U-21's


GarethRDR
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From Mail Online...

Shameful! England Under 21s subjected to racism and violence in shocking scenes in Serbia as football returns to the dark ages

Racism and violence marred a record-breaking night for England’s Under 21s as Stuart Pearce branded Serbia's actions 'a disgrace'.

A number of England’s black players, including Danny Rose, were subjected to racist chants as the visitors won 1-0 with a late Connor Wickham goal to secure a 2-0 aggregate win and a trip to Israel next summer. It will be their fourth straight European Championship finals appearance, the first time any nation has achieved that. Rose, sent off after the final whistle for a second bookable offence, made gestures to Serbia fans after being racially abused and pelted with stones. He was inconsolable afterwards.

There were horrendous scenes at the end, as a mass brawl erupted between players and coaches. England goalkeeping coach Martin Thomas was butted and assistant head coach Steve Wigley was kicked in the stomach. England goalkeeper Jack Butland also had a seat thrown at him.

The FA will demand UEFA take action and head coach Pearce was appalled. He said: "It was quite disgraceful. The scenes at the end were very sad."

"One or two of the technical staff from the opposition, and I don't include their manager in that, didn't cover themselves in glory on the pitch at the end. Punches, headbutts were thrown, and God knows what else. We will let the authorities deal with this at UEFA. I’m very proud of the way my players behaved. It got very volatile very quickly. But you could see the collectiveness among the staff and the players in the way we all looked out for each other"

Pearce added: "It is very sad, but we are united as a team and a staff. A lot is happening in our country with regard to stamping out racism and I am very proud of the reaction of our players towards the end. It is a real shame because over two ties, it was a really close game - two good teams going hammer and tongs at each other. It is just a shame it was soured in the last few minutes of the second leg of the tie."

"The important thing, when the dust settles, is we are going to a championship because we deserved to over two legs. Our players have put a lot of hard effort and sweat to get there. There is a real collectiveness here. We will let the authorities deal with this. All we know is we have given a good account of ourselves over two matches, we have won nine out of 10 matches in qualification and I am very proud of my team."

An FA statement said: "The FA condemns both the scenes of racism and the confrontation at the final whistle during which time our players and staff were under extreme provocation. The FA has reported a number of incidents of racism to UEFA. These were seemingly aimed at a number of England’s black players by the crowd. If UEFA had anything about them, they would ban Serbia from the next Under 21 European Championship and impose stringent sanctions available on their senior team, such as making them play every home game for the next four years behind closed doors"

This is not a knee-jerk reaction. Serbia are repeat offenders. In 2007, when England and Serbia met at this level at the finals in Holland, Nedum Onuoha was subjected to racial abuse. Serbia players also brawled with England at the final whistle, charging at England’s bench when Matt Derbyshire had made it 2-0. What was the punishment? A £16,000 fine. That sends out a message that these thugs can continue regardless. And they do.

Walking outside the stadium before kick-off, this did not have the feel of a normal Under 21 game. Groups of men prowled, casting suspicious, threatening glances at those who were clearly not locals. Inside, fireworks were frequently set off after the game began and at one point, the stadium announcer made a plea to the Serbian crowd ‘not to throw any more pyrotechnics’. Still they continued. Bangs here, little explosions there, they threw a seat, lighters and coins at Butland and similar at Rose.

Worse would follow in the form of racist chants. Marvin Sordell appeared to be subjected to them when he went down for treatment towards the end of the first half and spoke with referee Huseyin Gocek as he left the field at the break. The FA reported unspecified incidents of racism to UEFA at that point. None, it should be noted, came from any of the Serbia players, just some of the morons in the seats near to the touchline.

Sadly it got worse. "There was a lot of racist abuse from the stands and a lot going on after the game, which is hard to take," said England captain Jordan Henderson. "It’s not nice but we kept our heads. I don’t understand why Danny was sent off — I didn’t see he did anything wrong, other than get abused."

Wickham secured England’s passage, tapping in to give England a 2-0 lead on aggregate. Serbia’s goalkeeper Branimir Aleksic was up the other end of the field as his side chased the goal that would have levelled the tie and Tom Ince broke to set up Wickham. Unable to take any more abuse, Rose celebrated in front of Serbia’s fans at the final whistle. At that point, all hell broke loose. Thomas and Wigley were attacked and punches were thrown in England’s direction.

Former England midfielder Paul Ince, father of Tom, fumed: "If it was me, they would be kicked out for the next five tournaments. This takes us back to the dark ages."

"There were one or two other incidents which were quite sad that came from the technical staff, not just the players," said Pearce. "The authorities will deal with that hopefully. The one thing I can do is be very proud of our players. Under provocation, we held our dignity."

After defending stoically on the field, it would have been easy for England to start swinging back when red shirts came charging. That they stood firm was to their credit. Amazingly Serbia Under 21 coach Aleksander Jankovic refused to accept his squad’s role in the brawl. He said: "For a fight it takes two sides. It is a big question to say it was provoked from our bench. We will analyse it tomorrow. A riot on the pitch? It looked a good game to me."

Yet Pearce had praise for his opposite number. "I must commend (former Aston Villa striker and now Serbia technical director) Savo Milosevic, who came to our dressing room and apologised," said Pearce. "Their manager also conducted himself in a right and proper manner."

Too few did not. To see Rose march from the pitch and make gestures to those who taunted him, out of sheer heartbreak and rage, was one of the saddest incidents this observer has ever witnessed. Yet, until UEFA act, these events will continue. Rather than talk about re-jigging tournaments and wondering how much more money they can make, let’s see them take a stand. Do you think they will? Draw your own conclusions.

Major thing I'm talking away from that is that Super Savo apparently behaved like a gent. I'd have had him pegged as well up for the rumble. :blink:
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Not sure you can stop racism just by punishing it. If anything it'll make it worse, but just drags it underground. Attitudes in this country (and others which have progressed) were changed by the actions and influences of aspirational black people, not by saying 'you be nice to them or we'll punish you!'.

You can keep it away from football games and keep it out of the media, but as a country, as a region, it's not going to change people's perceptions.

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These kinds of attitudes aren't changed overnight, nor are they changed through the actions of any sort of Footballing body.

Serbia has a problem with racism, FIFA should simply declare that all home games for Serbia are played at a neutral venue until they have sorted their own problem out.

Ofcourse FIFA will not do this, and will probably issue a token fine and a slap across the wrists instead.

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As Shilz says, take football away from them. If it means neutral venue or banning them for the next few years, then so be it, they have to learn. Any punishments to the Serbian FA will not make a difference to the fans really.

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Serbia and football. Not a good mix. FIFA/UEFA now need to come down on them like a ton of bricks for what is the latest in a long line of bringing the game into disrepute. They need to be made a proper example of.

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Uefa/FIFA will take this seriously, I feel a €15,000 fine. Serbia do already have a ban suspended for the racist chanting at the euros in the summer but FIFA told them they had 12 months to sort ot out, apparently the monkey chants aimed at black england players are not referenced in the refs match report, can see England being reprimanded for starting the trouble for celebrating on the pitch.

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can see England being reprimanded for starting the trouble for celebrating on the pitch.

If that happens then it would be laughable that celebrations get punished and racism and violence don't - or at least only get a token gesture. It'll be interesting to see what they come out with. The fact you say it's not in the referee's report says a lot to me too.
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Uefa/FIFA will take this seriously, I feel a €15,000 fine. Serbia do already have a ban suspended for the racist chanting at the euros in the summer but FIFA told them they had 12 months to sort ot out, apparently the monkey chants aimed at black england players are not referenced in the refs match report, can see England being reprimanded for starting the trouble for celebrating on the pitch.

that was Croatia

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i think Bendtner's 80k fine for showing paddy power shorts whilst Russia and Spain were fined a combined £40k for racist chants during the Euro's shows that the problem could be inside UEFA as much as anything

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Well yeah I think that showed what we all know. Throw as many bananas as you want and insult everyone who is different to you, but do not EVER make money off a game without UEFA getting their cut too. Bendtner effectively 'stole' from UEFA in their eyes which is why his punishment was so stiff.

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