Выбор редакции

Uefa under pressure to ban Serbia after racism in England Under-21s game

• England's Danny Rose suffered racist abuse throughout tie
• Under-21 match ended in brawl involving staff and players

Uefa is expected to start disciplinary proceedings against Serbia on Wednesday, as it comes under increasing pressure to ban the country from international competition amid warnings that it is in danger of losing all credibility on the issue.

European football's governing body will receive an official report from match officials and its delegate in Krusevac for the Under-21 match between England and Serbia on Tuesday, which ended in chaos as Danny Rose was sent off amid brawls and widespread racist abuse from the stands.

As soon as the report from the officials has been digested it is expected to commence proceedings and Hugh Robertson, the sports minister, has written to Uefa's president, Michel Platini, demanding "tough sanctions".

Robertson said: "The scenes at the end of the game last night were disgraceful. I have written to Uefa president Michel Platini, in support of the FA, urging them to investigate immediately. 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."

The prime minister David Cameron was said to be "appalled" by the ugly scenes and his spokesman added that Britain expected "tough sanctions" if racism was proved. "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," the spokesman said.

The Football Association will deliver its full report to the Uefa delegate by 4pm on Wednesday and has written separately to the governing body to highlight the seriousness of the incidents and the fact that some of the players involved, such as Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, were as young as 17.

It will outline in detail the racist chanting, which was heard in isolated pockets during the match before reaching a climax at the end, as well as the missiles hurled on to the pitch from the stands and unprovoked attacks on players and coaching staff at the final whistle.

It is believed that the Uefa delegate was himself hit by a missile from the crowd during the match, while goalkeeper Jack Butland was targeted by lighters, coins and seats thrown from the stands. The scenes at the end of the match were described as "unprecedented" by those present.

Lord Ouseley, the chair of Kick It Out, has joined calls for "serial offenders" Serbia to be banned from international competition and accused Uefa of encouraging the problem with its "woefully weak" sanctions.

"The fact Uefa has been so woefully weak in the past in administering punishments makes it easy to re-offend," Lord Ouseley told the Guardian. "The jury is out on Uefa's capacity and willingness to tackle racism on the scale necessary. If they don't do what is appropriate in this instance, everyone will lose confidence in Uefa. They can't afford not to act."

Ouseley said that imposing fines was a "waste of time" and accused Uefa of failing to take the problem seriously.

Ouseley said: "They believe what they're doing is appropriate and proportionate. That's clearly not the case. You've got to make punishment on these issues sufficiently serious that people don't do it again.

"If you take away points and kick people out of tournaments it is punishment that hurts. If you stop players playing football it is more hurtful. If spectators want to go and see a match and they can't, that is the ultimate punishment."

Ouseley, who has spearheaded attempts to drive racism out of British football grounds, said that not only was Uefa imposing insufficient punishments but was failing to be "proactive" in working to change attitudes.

"I don't see them doing proactive work within these national associations on the attitudes that have to change," Ouseley said, noting the rise of right-wing parties in Greece and elsewhere, and the endemic problems throughout much of eastern Europe.

"Personally speaking, I think they have to take a stand and throw teams out of competitions. They have to take action against Serbia. It is a serial offender – it doesn't control its fans, its players or its officials.

"They have to ban them from a number of future tournaments until they can demonstrate they can sufficiently steward a match. Fining them is a waste of time."

Rose, who said he was subjected to monkey chants from the warm-up onwards, and Clarke Carlisle, the chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, have also called for Serbia to be thrown out of international competition.

Others, including the Everton captain Phil Neville, have called on players to take matters into their own hands and leave the pitch when subjected to racist chanting.

"Disgraceful what happened in Serbia last night-manager/captain should just take team off the field and refuse to play – see what Uefa do then," Neville said on Twitter. "It's not about them winning it's about making a proper stand – not wearing a T-shirt for 10 mins once a year. Stop the game, walk off, shame them."

In 2007, the Serbian FA was fined €24,000 following misconduct by fans and players in another European Under-21 Championship match against England.

Serbian fans were heard making monkey chants at England's black players, leading the referee to hold up the match while an announcement was made over the stadium's public address system. Trouble then broke out between the two sets of players as they left the pitch, with the English FA later saying there had been further racist abuse from Serbian players.


guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds