Racist chants and sickening violence mar England under-21s victory in Serbia

Serbia Under-21 0 England Under-21 1 (England win 2-0 on aggregate)

England reached next summer’s European Under-21 Championship last night but it was marred by racism and violence from Serbian players and fans at the final whistle.

Danny Rose was subject to monkey chants at the end of the match – which England won 1-0 – and was sent off after reacting angrily and kicking a water bottle. England players were bombarded by missiles as they celebrated Connor Wickham's winning goal in added time. There was a mass brawl between players and staff from both sides, spilling over into the tunnel. The England coach, Steve Wigley, was among those who had to be restrained as everyone tried to leave the pitch in the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac.

The England manager, Stuart Pearce, confirmed afterwards that there had been an apology from a Serbian official. "Savo Milosevic, their technical director, has come to our dressing room to apologise for any behaviour that was unsavoury," Pearce revealed after the game. "I never like to see any football matches end like that. This is a sporting arena."

Pearce also confirmed that his left-back Rose had been racially abused and that England have reported the incident. Rose appeared to mimic a monkey gesture back to the stands as he left the pitch, visibly distressed.

"I think there was one or two racist incidents from the crowd," Pearce said afterwards. "They've been reported to Uefa by us, it's in their hands now, they'll have to deal with that."

England captain Jordan Henderson also condemned the abuse. "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," he said.

"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."

Although the final scenes were ugly, Pearce was proud of how his young team conducted themselves under provocation from the hosts. "It's very sad," Pearce said. "But we're united as a team and as a staff at Under-21 level. A lot's happening in our country regarding stamping out racism. We're proud of the reaction of our players towards the end. It's a real shame, over two ties it was a real close game between two good teams."

An FA statement confirmed the association has lodged a complaint with Uefa: "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 following the fixture. These were seemingly aimed at a number of England black players by the crowd. The matter is now with Uefa."

Pearce will now lead England Under-21s to Israel next summer for their fourth consecutive European Championship under his management. Taking a 1-0 lead to Serbia, England were under pressure for most of the game.

Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland had to make a series of good saves. Centre-backs Steven Caulker and Craig Dawson had to work hard but England recorded their sixth clean sheet in seven matches.

Butland first had to save Nikola Ninkovic's shot and then from Darko Lazovic. An England side built on solid defence and pace on the break struggled to keep the ball as waves of Serbian attacks continued through the second half.

In stoppage time Serbia, needing one goal to take the tie to extra time, sent their goalkeeper forward for a set piece. England cleared the ball and Tom Ince broke down the right wing and set up Wickham to roll the winning goal into an empty net.

"We've come away from home, at a really difficult place to play and built on our lead from the first leg," a relieved Pearce said. "So I'm massively proud of the players and their achievement, they had to defend stoutly, so credit to them for that. The important thing, when the dust settles is that we're going to the championship next summer because we deserve to do so over two legs. We've given a good account of ourselves."

Race wars: England's abuse

Oct 2002, Slovakia v England

Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey targeted by Slovakian fans.

Nov 2004, Spain v England

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Cole subjected to monkey chants at the Bernabeu. Spanish FF fined £44,750.

June 2007, Eng U21 v Serbia U21

Serbian fans and players abuse Nedum Onuoha and Justin Hoyte.

Sept 2008, Croatia v England

Croatian Federation fined £15,000 after monkey chants aimed at Heskey in World Cup qualifier in Zagreb.

Sept 2011, Bulgaria v England

Bulgarian FA fined £32,000 following abuse towards Ashley Young during Euro 2012 qualifier in Sofia.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?