Sport Soccer

Sunday 24 September 2017

Video: Fury as England U21s subjected to racist abuse and headbutts in ugly Serbia clash

Andy Hampson

ENGLAND defender Danny Rose has called for Serbia to be banned after complaining of racial abuse and being hit by missiles during England Under-21s' win in Krusevac.

The England defender has said he had been subjected to monkey taunts long before the violent and chaotic scenes which marred the end of the Euro 2013 play-off.

Rose was sent off after the final whistle for kicking a ball in anger in response to provocation as scuffles broke out involving Serbian supporters, players and other officials.

Rose said: "I remember getting slapped twice and then I got ushered away.

"That's when I kicked the ball - and the referee sent me off. I don't understand, the game had finished by then but he still sent me off for kicking the ball.

"As I went off again there was monkey chanting, but the monkey chanting started long before I got sent off.

"After 60 minutes my head wasn't really on the game. They have to be banned. I don't understand how else they can learn from it, they have to be banned."

British Sports Minister Hugh Robertson sent a letter to UEFA president Michel Platini urging tough sanctions from the governing body following the "disgraceful scenes".

The FA reported "a number of incidents of racism" to European governing body UEFA after the match.

Head coach Stuart Pearce said: "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."



Pearce had spoken before the game of his confidence that the issue of racism would not raise itself.



A match between the two countries at the 2007 Under-21 European Championship in Holland was marred when England defender Nedum Onuoha was racially abused.



Serbia were fined £16,000 by European governing body UEFA after that incident, but Pearce had said he thought the game in the Balkan country had moved on since then.



Former England captain Paul Ince, working as a pundit on ESPN, believes tougher action is necessary this time.



Ince, whose son Thomas had been playing in the match, said: "It is disgraceful. There is no excuse for the scenes we have just seen.



"There were punches being thrown; if it was me they would be kicked out for the next five tournaments, European, World Cups."





England assistant coach Steve Wigley was caught up in the trouble and was manhandled as he made his way to the tunnel after the game.

Rose said the issues were a culmination of problems which had been brewing throughout the evening at the Mladost Stadium.

The 22-year-old, who is currently on loan at Sunderland from Tottenham, said: "It started when we went out for the warm-up.

"They started the monkey chanting straight away. I asked the lads if they could hear it and they said they could hear it.

"Halfway through the warm-up I went to 'Wigs', the assistant manager, and told him what was happening.

"He said I had to try my best to get through it and they would deal with it straight away after the game.

"In the first half I went down to get the ball for a throw-in and the fans started again with the monkey chants, but the first half was nowhere near as bad as the second half.

"In the second half I had two stones hit me on the head when I went to get the ball for a throw-in. Every time I touched the ball there was monkey chanting again.

"After 60 minutes my mind wasn't really on the game after that. I was just so angry and it was just so hard to concentrate.

"I could have cost the lads the game because I made a few mistakes through not concentrating.

"Then obviously we scored. After 90 minutes' worth of abuse I just expressed my emotions as soon as we scored.

"Then the next thing I know all the Serbia players have run over and were all surrounding me, pushing me and a brawl broke out."

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