Harry Redknapp: ‘I thought these days were gone’
Harry Redknapp is appalled by the “disgusting” scenes involving former charge Danny Rose on Tuesday night and has joined the chorus of those calling for Serbia to be punished.
England Under-21s’ progress to Euro 2013 was marred in Krusevac, where their play-off victory was followed by a mass confrontation on the pitch.
Tottenham’s Rose, on loan at Sunderland, was sent off for his reaction to what he clearly felt was racist abuse, something the Serbian FA have denied.
Redknapp managed the left-back during their time at White Hart Lane and joined those urging the governing bodies to act appropriately.
“It was disappointing to see something like that in a football stadium,” he said. “I thought those days were gone. I read in the build-up to the game that people were saying it was going to be a real cauldron, a real difficult place with a hostile atmosphere.
“They obviously couldn’t take losing, the Serbians, and they reacted terribly. It was a disgrace, really. It was nothing to do with sport. It was absolutely disgusting.
“It’s difficult, though. What do you do? You could suspend Serbia from world football, but the senior team – what’s it got to do with them? They weren’t involved.
“You’re talking about a mindless part of the fans. It is not everybody. I am sure there were some great people there last night with their families, their kids watching the game. It is just the minority that cause all the problems and were a disgrace to the country.
“How harsh a ban or whatever you do to the Serbia teams, I don’t know. It is a difficult one, but you certainly just can’t let them get away with it.”
Redknapp was surprised to hear the Serbian FA’s denial of wrongdoing and their comments that Rose behaved in an “inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner” towards their fans.
“I am sure Danny didn’t start it,” Redknapp said. “He was obviously racially abused and that is something certainly we don’t want to see anywhere in the world.
“I don’t know what the crowd were doing. I would be a liar if I said I did. I didn’t see the game, I only saw the highlights and what went on afterwards.”
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