Football authorities must get tough with Serbia, says Leroy Rosenior
POST columnist and former Bristol City striker Leroy Rosenior has called on UEFA to ban the Serbia Under-21 side from their next major international tournament after Danny Rose claimed he was racially abused by fans in Krusevac.
Rose, 22, said he was subjected to monkey chants throughout the game on Tuesday night, which England Under-21s won 1-0 to book their place in the Euro 2013 finals next summer.
The match ended with scuffles breaking out between players of both sides after Rose was given a red card for kicking a ball away in disgust at the treatment he had received.
Rosenior, pictured, said: "It was a total and utter disgrace. The big problem is that this sort of thing is happening too often and little is ever done about it in the way of real punishment. The Serbian FA will probably get a slap on the wrist and an obligatory fine and that is just not good enough.
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"The time has come now for a real punishment to show the authorities will go and do something really positive to try to stamp this out.
"Serbia should be banned from the next tournament because all international federations need to be warned that this sort of racist abuse will not be tolerated and those that have a problem need to work harder to stop it. The relevant authorities need to start taking a zero-tolerance stance for this sort of thing, because enough is enough."
Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, was "appalled" by the ugly scenes at the end of the match.
The PM's official spokesman said the government was giving its full backing to a Football Association complaint over alleged racist comments by Serbian players, and sport minister Hugh Robertson had written to UEFA president Michel Platini urging an investigation.
Britain expects "tough sanctions" if racism is proved, the spokesman said.
Commenting on the Prime Minister's response, the spokesman said: "He was appalled by the scenes that we have seen in Serbia. We are determined to stamp out racism internationally and at home and we are giving our full backing to the FA's complaint on this issue.
"Clearly it is for UEFA to investigate this issue, but we would expect tough sanctions. If we are going to stamp out racism from football, it is no good giving derisory fines, as have been handed out in the past. It is not good enough to say that people should shake hands and forget about it."
Reading striker Jason Roberts accused UEFA of not dealing adequately with past racism issues and said players should take action themselves by walking off the pitch if subjected to racist abuse.
The 34-year-old said: "I was absolutely fuming at what I saw. To think this was an England Under-21 game and another generation of players is seeing this sort of behaviour makes me very sad and makes me aware of the fact we haven't moved far enough."