Gullit: Racism in the sport is growing in Europe, and UEFA must act

The former Dutch international criticized UEFA and match officials who failed to stop the game once racist chants broke out when England Under-21s met Serbia last week.
As the England Under-21s celebrated a victory against Serbia which saw them qualify for the European Championships in Israel next year, the final whistle marked an outbreak of racist chanting and violence that resulted in Danny Rose kicking the ball away in frustration and receiving a red card for doing so.

Ruud Gullit believes that UEFA cannot sanction Rose's red card and instead must harshly discipline Serbia for racist chanting, violent conduct and the fans throwing objects at the England squad. The former AC Milan and Netherlands player and Chelsea and Los Angeles Galaxy manager is calling on UEFA to make sure that the governing body handles the situation correctly to prevent a similar situation happening again.

“I demand to know if UEFA are really going to sanction Danny Rose," Gullit told The Mirror. "The boy’s reaction to kick the ball away was a very innocent and ­understandable reaction. An ­obvious one under the circumstances. The Turkish referee Huseyin Gocek gave Rose a red card. Can anyone explain what else Danny could have done?

“I know what should have happened. The game should have been stopped as soon as the crowd made their racist chants and noises. Games must be stopped when this kind of racism ­­towards black players ­occurs. The massive worldwide ­attention will force UEFA to take action. They can’t just sit on their hands anymore.”

Gullit also claimed that racism is on the rise in the game despite claims from FIFA president Sepp Blatter that the sport does not have a racism issue and threats of punishment for racist acts by UEFA ahead of Euro 2012.

“I was shocked by the scandalous racial ­behavior from Serbia fans," Gullit said. “Sadly, monkey noises are still common in certain ­European countries. It’s a cancer which is ­growing bigger under the ­current economic pressures.

“For this reason I demand to know what UEFA is going to do now against the terrible ­behavior of the Serbs. Before Euro 2012 we saw how UEFA announced a list of severe sanctions for racism. Now all those sanctions have ­apparently been thrown ­overboard."

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