British PM calls for sanctions on Serbia

British PM calls for sanctions on Serbia

LONDON - Reuters
British PM calls for sanctions on Serbia

Serbian player Milos Ninkovic (L) clashes with England’s Danny Rose (R) and Craig Dawson (C) during their U-21 Championship playoff match in Krusevac.

The British Government urged UEFA yesterday to take tough sanctions against Serbia and not just hand it a “derisory fine” following the racist behavior of its fans in an Under-21 international against England.

England defender Danny Rose was racially abused and pelted with stones in the southern city of Krusevac before, during and after the match on Oct. 16, when England won 1-0 to qualify for next year’s European Under-21 championships in Israel.

Rose has called for Serbia to be banned from international football while a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement: “The Prime Minister is certainly aware of the events. He is appalled by the scenes we have seen in Serbia and 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.

“Hugh Robertson (the Minister for Sport) has written to the UEFA president urging them to investigate this issue. We would expect tough sanctions if we are going to stamp out racism from football.”

Serbia has long had problems with racism and football violence. It was forced to play a Euro 2012 qualifier behind closed doors after fans rioted at an abandoned Italy game in Genoa in 2010.

England defender Rose called for the strongest possible action.

“They have to be banned. I don’t understand how else they can learn from it,” he told Sky Sports News.
England’s goal, which sealed a 2-0 aggregate win, came with the last kick of the game and fighting broke out immediately after the final whistle between players and officials as the England players were celebrating.

Rose said he was racially abused throughout the evening.