Uefa issue 'paltry' fine to Serbia for 'disgraceful' behaviour of fans and also ban two England Under-21 players

Serbia's Under-21s must play a game behind closed doors while Steven Caulker and Thomas Ince are suspended

Uefa's decision to order Serbia's Under-21s to play their next match behind closed doors and fine them €80,000 (£65,000) for the despicable scenes during October's match against the England Under-21s has been met with derision.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson said he was "disappointed" while Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of football's anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, called the punishment "paltry".

Following the second leg of a 2013 European Championship play-off in Krusevac, which England won 1-0 for a 2-0 aggregate triumph to reach next year's finals in Israel, ugly scenes flared.

Connor Wickham's injury-time strike resulted in missiles being thrown on to the pitch that was invaded by a number of fans, whilst players and officials from both sides clashed before leaving the field.

There was also a backdrop of alleged racial abuse from the stands as England claimed some of their black players were victims.

Full-back Danny Rose, dismissed after the final whistle for kicking the ball away in anger, complained he had been particularly targeted.

Just 90 minutes after the game had ended, the FA made their feelings plain, issuing a statement condemning the racism - reporting a number of incidents to Uefa - and the confrontations that occurred, claiming England's players "were under extreme provocation".

Talk of strong punishments and an opportunity for Uefa to make a stand against racism followed in the resulting days.

Yet today's punishment continues the weak response from European football's governing body that many commentators feel has been a stain on the organisation headed by Michel Platini.

Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle was amongst those who suggested Serbia should receive a "significant" international ban.

Even Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "appalled" at the scenes, stating Britain expected "tough sanctions" if racism was proven.

That call was endorsed by Sports Minister Robertson who went so far as to write to Uefa president Platini, in support of the FA, urging his governing body to take strong action.

Rose also stood his ground as he said he was "slapped twice" before he was dismissed following a game in which he claims he was subjected to "monkey chanting" throughout.

FA general secretary Alex Horne described the events in Serbia as "disgraceful", and suggested England would "question the validity of sending a team to Serbia in the future".

The £65,000 fine is less than was the £80,000 meted out to Nicklas Bendtner at Euro 2012 after the Danish striker exposed underwear with a sponsor's name on it.

Among Uefa's wide ranging punishments, English duo Tom Ince and Steven Caulker have been banned for one and two games respectively.

Horne says the FA are considering appealing those suspensions.

Serbia fitness coach Andreja Milunovic, who attacked England officials, has been banned for two years, the second of which is suspended for three years. Serbia assistant coach Predrag Katic was also banned for two years, the final six months of which suspended for three years.

Four Serbia players were also banned - Goran Causic for four matches, Ognjen Mudrinski and Filip Malbasic for three and Nikola Ninkovic for two.

In a statement, Uefa said Serbia's punishment was due to the "improper conduct of its supporters during and at the end of the match, as well as for the improper conduct of the Serbia players at the end of the game".

A day after the incident, the Serbian FA countered the FA's claims, denying there were any racist chants before and during the game, whilst claiming Rose behaved in an "inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner" towards their fans.

Uefa quickly charged the Serbian FA with racist chanting, whilst also issuing a further charge to them and the FA with failure to control their players.

The Serbians at least later reacted strongly in one sense by issuing lengthy bans to two players and two officials for their part in the melee that occurred after the game.

Discussing today's announcement, Serbian FA secretary general Zoran Lakovic admitted the sanctions were "a final warning".

He said in a statement: "Though this case followed a very large media campaign, I do not think the members of the Uefa control and disciplinary commission were influenced by that.

"If we take into account what the drastic proposed penalty by the disciplinary inspector Jean-Samuel Leube we have not been hit so hard.

"I believe that this is a final warning to all of us who work in Serbian football, including coaches and players and fans, because for even the smallest mistake Uefa can now impose the most rigorous punishment."

Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of football's anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, slammed the sanction for Serbia as "paltry".

He said: "Kick It Out shares the concerns of many in football that abuse aimed at black players isn't taken seriously enough. This is a paltry slap on the wrist and again we haven't seen decisive action from Uefa ."

Sports minister Hugh Robertson also expressed his disappointment.

Robertson said: "I am disappointed in the punishment that has been awarded to the Serbian FA given the widespread racist abuse that England's Under-21 team suffered that night. Racism is completely unacceptable and we need tough sanctions to help combat it."

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices