Hearing on Serbia race allegations postponed

 

Uefa has postponed a hearing into allegations that Serbian fans racially abused England players during an Under-21 European Championship qualifier last month.

Uefa says its disciplinary panel decided yesterday that it needed more time "to allow for further investigations". The case will be heard on 13 December.

The British government has urged Uefa to take strong sanctions against the Serbian football association.

The European governing body charged the Serbian FA with misconduct over racial abuse allegedly directed at black England players during the 16 October match in Krusevac. Uefa also charged Serbia and England with "improper conduct" after scuffles involving players and coaches broke out at the end of a match which England won 1-0 to qualify for the championship in Israel next June.

Meanwhile, the manager of the senior England side, Roy Hodgson, claims the new generation of young players can fill the gap in technique that the national side has been lacking. Hodgson admits that England's passing and possession at Euro 2012 were sub-standard and that "certain improvements" are needed if they are to be a force at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Hodgson said: "Obviously I think we need to pass better. One of the things we thought, coming back from the Euros, that we need to improve is the quality of our passing and the possession side of our game, but possession in the right sense. It's possession when you cross the halfway line and what you do in the final third.

"To do that you need some players who can manipulate the ball, deal with the ball, beat a player and I'm really quite pleased that there are young players coming through who have got those qualities.

"I want an England team to go to a World Cup and compete well there and I think to do that we have got to make certain improvements."

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