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Uefa appeal their own Serbia-England sanctions

DISMAY: Rose reacts to racial abuse from Serbia supporters in October

FOOTBALL’S EUROPEAN governing body Uefa have appealed their own sanctions that they handed out after England Under-21s were racially abused and assaulted against Serbia on October 16.

The match, which was a UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off second-leg, ended in chaos as Serbian players manhandled England players following a winning injury time winning goal by the latter.

Several players, such as England’s Danny Rose, were also subjected to monkey chants throughout at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac.

Uefa originally fined the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) £65,000 for racist behaviour from their fans, ordered them to play one game behind closed doors and handed out bans to four of their players and to two of their coaches.

Two England players, Steven Caulker and Thomas Ince, also received bans.

These sanctions were widely criticised by both players and by the FA.

However, Uefa have decided to appeal the decisions imposed by their own disciplinary panel.

A statement on their site said: "Having reviewed the motivated decisions for the sanctions imposed in this specific case, which have also been provided to all parties, the UEFA disciplinary inspector felt it necessary to immediately confirm his intention to appeal on UEFA's behalf.

"The UEFA disciplinary inspector now has until January 8 to lodge the appeal, the same deadline also applying to both the FSS and the FA should they wish to appeal the sanctions imposed."

Piara Powar, executive director FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe), was pleased with Uefa’s decision.

WANTING ACTION: Powar

“Uefa’s decision to appeal is very welcome. We had been lobbying for it and like a lot of other people within Uefa felt this was the right thing to do,” said Powar.

“Uefa now have an opportunity to send out a message and it takes a lot of honesty and self-reflection to admit that one arm of the organisation got it wrong.

“It’s a good lead for other national associations to follow if they issue a sanction that on reflection doesn’t get the right message across, such as the [English] FA in a certain case earlier this year.”

Powar hoped that a stricter punishment would now occur.

He continued: “We’ll wait to see what the next hearing brings and what the outcome of appeal is, but we always felt that the initial punishment was an opportunity to lay down a marker that wasn’t taken.

“We’d like to see that rectified, although we can’t say what the outcome should be.”

Powar added: “At the time there was widespread outrage at what happened due to the levels of racism and sheer lawlessness. What happened warranted a harder sanction.”

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