BELGRADE: Local police have charged four Serb players and four fans as well as two England Under-21 players and two coaches over the melee at the end of the European under-21 qualifier in Krusevac.
The match, marred by racist chanting from home supporters, erupted at the final whistle. Players and officials from both teams clashed on the pitch after Connor Wickham’s late goal secured England’s passage to next year’s finals.
England Under-21 full-back Danny Rose was a particular target for abuse and he was red-carded after the final whistle after throwing the ball away. Serb players and fans accused him of inflammatory gestures.
European federation UEFA has charged both countries over the incidents while the Football Association – supported by Sports Minister Hugh Robertson – reported “a number of incidents of racism” to the governing body in a dossier of evidence including the video footage.
The Serb federation have already punished four individuals: players Ognjen Mudrinski and Nikola Ninkovic, who clashed with Rose as the full-back attempted to leave the pitch, were given one-year suspensions while coaches Srdjan Maksimovic and Andreja Milutinovic were handed two-year bans.
Steven Caulker and Thomas Ince were apparently the England players along with assistant coaches Steve Wigley and Martin Thomas. The Serb players charged were Mudrinski, Goran Causic, Djordje Despotovic and Aleksandar Kirovski.
The FSS also issued a qualified apology for the on-field trouble but denied any racist provocation towards the England team.
The cases will be dealt with at a meeting of UEFA’s control and disciplinary body on November 22.
# # #