Danny Rose behaved in an 'inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner' claim Serbian FA after denying any forms of racism during England under-21 match

 

The Serbian FA have denied any forms of racism towards the England under-21 team and have said Danny Rose behaved in an “inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner” towards their fans.

A statement on the Serbian FA's website read: "(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.

"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 statement is in startling contrast to the reaction in England to last night's scenes.

Earlier today David Cameron said he had been “appalled” by what he had seen.

A spokesman for the PM added that Britain expects "tough sanctions" if racism is proved to have taken place.

England won the match in Krusevac 1-0 on the night (2-0 on aggregate) thanks to a goal in added time from Connor Wickham. As the England players celebrated missiles were hurled from the stands.

The situation developed quickly with fans entering the field and a mass brawl between players and staff from both sides, spilling over into the tunnel.

Tottenham defender Rose appeared to be subjected to monkey chants throughout and after the match, and for reacting after the final whistle by kicking a ball away, the referee took the decision to show him a second yellow card. As Rose headed for the tunnel he made a monkey gesture and held an ironic thumb-up towards the stands.

Rose has today said he was racially abused throughout the match and has called for Serbia to be banned

"I remember getting slapped twice and then I got ushered away," he told Sky Sports News.

"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."

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson has backed Rose's calls for Serbia to be severely punished.

"The scenes at the end of the game last night were disgraceful," said Robertson, who confirmed that he has given his full support to the Football Association, who have reported a number of incidents of racism to Uefa.

"Racism in any form is unacceptable and must be stamped out. We would expect tough sanctions from Uefa on anyone found guilty of racist abuse."

Robertson has also sent a letter to Uefa president Michel Platini, which reads: "I am writing to you about the incidents at the England v Serbia UEFA European U21 championship play-off second leg last night.

"As you are aware, a number of England players were subject to extreme provocation and racism.

"The British Government absolutely supports the FA's strong condemnation of the incident and joins it in urging you to take the strongest possible sanctions against anyone guilty of the offence.

"As I am sure that you will agree, these scenes, and attitudes, have no place in sport, the modern game of football, or society as a whole.

"Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help your investigation."

A spokesman for the Prime Minister has given backing to Robertson's calls.

"We are determined to stamp out racism internationally and at home and we are giving our full backing to the FA's complaint on this issue.

"Clearly it is for Uefa to investigate this issue but we would expect tough sanctions. If we are going to stamp out racism from football then it is no good giving derisory fines, as have been handed out in the past.

"It is not good enough to say that people should shake hands and forget about it."

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

The 22-year-old 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."

Tottenham defender Adam Smith, who was alongside Rose on England Under-21 duty in Serbia, took to Twitter this morning to express his disgust at last night's events.

He posted: "Can't believe what I witnessed last night!! Horrible scenes!! This racism abuse needs to stop!"

Rose's current club Sunderland, where he is on loan from Spurs, were swift to back their player.

"As a club we strongly believe that the power of football should be used to promote inclusion and celebrate diversity and there is no place for any form of racism within the game of football and society as a whole," said the Black Cat's chief executive Margaret Byrne.

"The scenes in Serbia last night shocked everyone and Sunderland Football Club wholeheartedly backs the Football Association's stance on the matter."

Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle has joined the calls for a "significant" ban.

"You should not have to experience those scenes in this day and age. It was utterly deplorable behaviour.

"It's quite farcical. A guy is racially abused and then he gets punished for containing his reaction to that.

"We saw how the whole debacle progressed into punching, kicking... We saw photos of headbutts going on in the staff.

"But Danny Rose, for kicking a ball away, ends up getting himself sent off. This is just wrong.

"The message has to come from the top down that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

"It's immaterial where it is, who the perpetrators are. What's material is that the governing bodies lay down extremely harsh sanctions so that they deter countries and people from acting in this way.

"I believe Serbia should be banned because it's a repeat offence.

"Banning them for a start, from any tournament, would be progress but I think if it's significant - if it's a couple of tournaments - then that would cause that nation to address the issue that has deprived them of international competition."

A match between England and Serbia at the 2007 Under-21 European Championship in Holland was marred when England defender Nedum Onuoha was racially abused. Serbia were fined a paltry £16,000 after that incident.

Reading striker Jason Roberts accused Uefa of not dealing adequately with past racism issues and backed players to walk off the pitch if subjected to racist abuse.

The 34-year-old told BBC Radio Five: "I was absolutely fuming at what I saw.

"To think this was an England Under-21 game and another generation of players is seeing this sort of behaviour makes me very sad and makes me aware of the fact we haven't moved far enough.

"Everyone says Uefa needs to be stronger, do this and do that.

"They've shown they have no stomach for this battle. They haven't taken it on in the past.

"I doubt they will now with paltry fines and slapping on the wrists.

"So that's why it's time for players to take action. I'll go one further and say players should walk off the pitch because - guaranteed - if that happened, things would change."

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