UEFA has appealed against decision of its own disciplinary body
Serbia was ordered to pay $105,000 after being found guilty of 'improper conduct'
"UEFA's decision to appeal is very welcome," says Piara Powar, executive director of FARE
A leading anti-racism group has applauded UEFA’s decision to appeal against sanctions handed out to the Serbian Football Association for “improper conduct” following allegations of racist chanting.
The European governing body has confirmed it will appeal against all punishments following the under-21 qualifying game between Serbia and England in Krusevac on October 16.
While UEFA president Michel Platini had hinted at seeking tougher sanctions, the news of an appeal came following a statement in which “the UEFA disciplinary inspector felt it necessary to immediately confirm his intention to appeal on UEFA’s behalf.”
FARE – a network of anti-discrimination and inclusion groups which tackles racism, xenophobia and homophobia across European football, says the latest developments are hugely encouraging
“UEFA’s decision to appeal is very welcome,” executive director Piara Powar told the English Press Association.
“We had been lobbying for it and like a lot of other people within UEFA felt this was the right thing to do.”
Serbia was ordered to play one under-21 match behind closed doors was fined $105,000.
The team’s assistant coach Predrag Katic and fitness coach Andreja Milunovic were also banned from football for two years.
In addition, four Serbia players were suspended with Goran Causic banned for four games, Ognjen Mudrinski and Filip Malbasic for three and Nikola Ninkovic for two.
UEFA will also challenge the decision to hand England duo Steven Caulker and Tom Ince two and one-match bans.
The pair were caught up in a brawl during the playoff game, which was sparked following allegations of racist abuse directed at England’s Danny Rose.
Critics of UEFA have accused accusing the organization of failing to find a suitable punishment.
During the 2012 European Championship finals, Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner was fined $125,800 for exposing boxer shorts with the logo of an online betting company
Earlier this year, Manchester City officials were infuriated after the club was fined $40,000 by UEFA for taking to the pitch late for a Europa League game – which was $13,000 more than FC Porto’s sanction for fans’ racist abuse during a game against the English team.
Powar added: “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.”
Tottenham’s Rose, who is currently on loan at Sunderland, was shown a red card after the final whistle for kicking the ball away in anger after complaining he had been subjected to monkey chants throughout the contest.
“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,” read a statement on UEFA’s website.
“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.”