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Second time lucky? UEFA appeals own Serbia racism fine

The organisation have decided to rethink their decision following a backlash against the original punishment.

The British government had previously written to UEFA President Michel Platini demanding
The British government had previously written to UEFA President Michel Platini demanding "tough sanctions" against Serbia following the racial abuse of England.

UEFA ARE APPEALING their own decision to fine Serbia 80,000 euros for the violence and racist abuse in an Under-21 match against England in October.

The initial punishment was criticised for being too lenient by the English FA, while Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand accused European football’s governing body of not taking racism seriously.

But a statement on their official website on Wednesday announced: “UEFA…has decided to appeal all the sanctions….relating to incidents which took place at the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off second-leg match between Serbia and England on 16 October 2012 at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac.”

It added: “As per the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, the UEFA disciplinary inspector has the right to open disciplinary investigations and to lodge appeals against decisions taken by the Control and Disciplinary Body.

“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.”

In chaotic scenes at the game in Krusevac, England defender Danny Rose was sent off for kicking the ball away in response to what he said was monkey chanting and physical provocation.

Scuffles also broke out between players, coaches and supporters at the end of the match.

In addition to the fine, two of Serbia’s coaching staff and four players were handed suspensions while two England players were also banned.

Serbia were also ordered to play their next Under-21 match behind closed doors.

Ferdinand, writing on Twitter, had commented: “uefa are not serious at all on racism. Fines do not work at all. They have zero impact on federations/clubs/fans/players. #fact.

“Uefa need to talk to this generation…..they don’t seem to be up to date on this issue?? Harsh punishments needed as a deterrent.”

The English FA’s general secretary Alex Horne backed Ferdinand, admitting his organisation were frustrated with the meagre size of the punishment for their Serbian counterparts.

“We are disappointed with the sanctions levied by UEFA with regards to the racist behaviour displayed towards England’s players,” Horne said.

“Let’s be clear, racism is unacceptable in any form, and should play no part in football. The scenes were deplorable and we do not believe the sanction sends a strong enough message.”

- © AFP, 2012

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