FA general secretary slams racist abuse in Serbia

Alex Horne has made a formal complaint to Uefa after the England Under-21 squad were subjected to monkey chants during a European Championships play-off on Tuesday
Football Association general secretary Alex Horne has issued a strong statement condemning the racial abuse suffered by the England Under-21 team during their clash with Serbia on Tuesday.

Sunderland loanee Danny Rose was shown a red card after lashing out at Serbian fans following the final whistle, but later revealed he had been subjected to monkey chants throughout the game.

And, after seeing the Serbia camp react violently to losing the tie, Horne has questioned whether England will return to the country.

“We were shocked and appalled by the disgraceful events that occurred in Serbia last night,” read a statement on the FA’s website.

“Our players and staff were subjected to racial abuse, violence as well as missiles being thrown at them throughout the match. What occurred is inexcusable and not acceptable.

“After collating evidence from those present, including a senior UK Football Policing Unit representative, we are making a formal complaint to UEFA today (Wednesday).

“We call on UEFA to take the strongest possible action against the Serbian FA, their supporters and anyone found guilty of being involved in the numerous instances of violence and abuse.

“No football team should be asked to play in any environment where racial abuse, violence and threatening behaviour is prevalent. We must question the validity of sending a team to Serbia in the future.”

Horne was particularly keen to defend Rose who bore the brunt of the abuse and was accused of behaving in an “inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner” by the Serbian FA.

“It is also clear that we must defend Danny Rose, who was sent off due to the frustration of being a target of racial abuse,” he continued.

“FA officials made UEFA officials aware of racist abuse from sections of the crowd aimed at a number of England’s black players at half-time on Tuesday evening.

“This matter was discussed again during a meeting with UEFA after those disgraceful scenes which followed the final whistle.

“We look forward to UEFA dealing with last night's events as a matter of urgency.”

The FA also announced on Wednesday that they will refund the tickets of fans who have stayed in Poland to watch the senior England team's rearranged World Cup qualifier.

Three Lions supporters who have remained in Warsaw to watch the fixture, which was postponed due to inclement weather, will also be invited to a special training session.