UEFA set to appeal for tougher sanctions on Serbia
UEFA is likely to seek tougher sanctions against Serbia by
appealing the verdict of its own independent panel after England
players were racially abused at an Under-21 European Championship
UEFA said on Friday that its president Michel Platini, who is in
Japan for FIFA meetings, will next week proceed to challenge
sanctions announced on Thursday by its independent disciplinary
The Football Association of Serbia was fined ?80,000 ($105,000)
and ordered to play one under-21 home match in an empty
Platini has previously visited Belgrade to urge Serbia’s
government to enact stricter laws and do more to tackle violence
and discrimination by its fans.
UEFA’s panel also banned two Serbia team coaches from football
for two years for involvement in clashes on the pitch following the
match in Krusevac in October. England won 1-0 and advanced to the
finals tournament in Israel in June.
UEFA also imposed international match suspensions on four Serbia
The English Football Association said on Thursday that Serbia’s
punishments were too light. The FA pledged to appeal suspensions
for two England players, defender Steven Caulker and midfielder
Thomas Ince, which would be enforced at the finals in Israel.
Serbia FA general secretary Zoran Lakovic acknowledged on
Thursday that the Balkan country was on its ”last warning” from
”I remind everyone that we are under special UEFA scrutiny and
even the smallest next mistake could lead to rigorous punishment,”
Serbia’s critics hoped for sanctions which could be applied to
senior team matches during its World Cup qualifying campaign.
Serbia trails third in a group led by Belgium and Croatia. Its
next matches are away to Croatia on March 22 and home to Scotland
on March 26.
UEFA statutes allow it to intervene in disciplinary matters.
This month, UEFA’s appeals panel imposed a lifetime expulsion
from football on Malta midfielder Kevin Sammut in a match-fixing
case after the governing body challenged the disciplinary verdict
of a 10-year ban.