England U21s claim fan racial abuse in Serbia game

  •  

KRUSEVAC, Serbia (AP) -Serbia could face UEFA sanctions after England complained that its under-21s team was racially abused by fans and the target of objects hurled onto the pitch on Wednesday night.

Scuffles broke out between players and officials from both teams shortly after Connor Wickham's injury-time goal in the 1-0 win that took England through to the 2013 European Championship with a 2-0 aggregate victory.

England midfielder Danny Rose kicked the ball away after the final whistle and was sent off by the referee. Rose, who is black, then appeared to make a gesture to the crowd indicating he was racially abused and gave a thumbs-up signal.

"What happened tonight wasn't nice and is not called for in football," England captain Jordan Henderson said. "There was a lot of racist abuse out there from the stands and a lot going on after the game, which is hard to take for the players ... there was also stones, coins and seats getting thrown at us.

"I didn't understand why Danny Rose was sent off at the end - I didn't see he did anything wrong, other than get abused."

Serbia was warned by UEFA in 2011 that its teams risked being banned from European competitions if fans caused any more crowd trouble.

Now the English FA hopes the UEFA takes action.

"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 said in a statement.

"The FA has reported a number of incidents of racism to UEFA following the fixture. These were seemingly aimed at a number of England's black players by the crowd. The matter is now with UEFA."

Serbia captain Aleksandar Jankovic indicated that the England team was also at fault when asked by English reporters if he would apologize.

"Apologize for what? It takes two to have a fight," Jankovic said according to Serbia's official Tanjug news agency. "You should be happy that England qualified. We can discuss that (incident) tomorrow and analyze what happened. Let's talk about football."

Pearce, though, said that Serbian officials had apologized.

"Savo Milosevic, their technical director, has come to our dressing room and apologized for any behavior that was unsavory," Pearce said. "I never want to see any football matches end like that, this is a sporting arena."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
  •  
 

Biggest Stories

 

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop