Serbia fined 80,000 euros over U21 incidents

Last updated 08:04 14/12/2012

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The Serbian FA (FSS) has been fined 80,000 euros (US$104,700) and must stage its next under-21 home match behind closed doors after players and fans were found guilty of improper conduct.

The charges followed England's 1-0 victory in a European under-21 championship playoff in Krusevav in October when visiting full back Danny Rose complained he was racially abused by Serbia supporters before, during and after the game.

England scored with the last kick of the match and fighting broke out between players and officials immediately after the final whistle.

"The sanction against the FSS has been imposed for the improper conduct of its supporters during and at the end of the match, as well as for the improper conduct of the Serbia players at the end of the game," UEFA said in a statement that contained no mention of racism.

Serbia's assistant coach Predrag Katic and fitness coach Andreja Milunovic, who had already been suspended by the FSS for violating its ethics and fair-play code, were banned from football for two years by European soccer's ruling body.

Four Serbia players were suspended by UEFA on Thursday. Goran Causic was banned for four international games, Ognjen Mudrinski and Filip Malbasic for three matches and Nikola Ninkovic for two.

Mudrinski and Ninkovic had already been suspended by the FSS for a year.

SERBIA WARNING

"The punishment is not as harsh as we thought it might be but the verdict and the incident that caused it should come as a last warning to everyone representing Serbian football," said FSS secretary general Zoran Lakovic.

"That means the coaches, the players and of course the fans because even the slightest trouble in future could result in the most rigorous measures."

England defender Steven Caulker, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, was suspended for two international matches by UEFA and Blackpool winger Tom Ince for one.

The FSS had denied the racism charges and said after the match that Rose, who is on loan at Sunderland, had provoked the home fans in an "inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner".

Serbia have long since had problems with racism and soccer violence.

They were forced to play a Euro 2012 qualifier behind closed doors after fans rioted and caused a senior international game against Italy to be abandoned in Genoa in 2010.

In June 2007, the FSS was fined 16,500 pounds (US$26,600) because of racist chants and the behaviour of their fans at another under-21 match against England.

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- Reuters

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