Anti-racism group calls on Platini to get tough on Serbian denials
ONE of Europe’s leading anti-racism campaigns has called on Uefa to cut through Serbia’s denials and punish the country heavily for the scenes which marred their 2013 European Under-21 Championship play-off against England.
The Serbian Football Association have condemned the violence which took place in the aftermath of England’s play-off victory but denied any racist activity took place and accused England’s Danny Rose – who was sent off for his reaction to what he clearly felt was racist abuse – of behaving in an “inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner” towards their fans.
Piara Powar, executive director of the FARE Network, the continent-wide group against anti-discriminatory behaviour in the game, said: “In general terms there is a culture of denial – denial is one of the problems we face.
“It is unfortunate that is the perspective of the Serbian FA after the player, his team-mates and the England coach have said there was racism. That should be enough for all of us.
“It is now down to the FA to present as much evidence as they can to be clear about what their guys are saying. Serbia have been before Uefa previously. There have been situations that have required the Uefa president, Michel Platini, to visit Serbia and issue a warning that they need to sort out social problems and problems in football.
“This is not something that is new to anybody. It is an ongoing issue and one I would hope Uefa would take the strongest action.
“I think everyone recognises the small fines have no effect whatsoever. They fall short of all the objectives they are there to achieve – they don’t act as a deterrent, or an educational means. I think there is a need to rethink that approach.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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