LATEST NEWS: Sports Minister calls for Serbia sanctions over racial abuse hurled at Sunderland’s Danny Rose

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson. Photo credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson. Photo credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire
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SPORTS Minister Hugh Robertson has written to UEFA demanding tough action against Serbia after “disgraceful scenes” at last night’s England Under-21 match.

Danny Rose has already called for Serbia to be banned after he complaining of racist abuse and being hit by missiles during England Under-21s’ win in Krusevac.

The Tottenham defender, currently on loan at Sunderland, said he had been subjected to monkey taunts long before the violent scenes which marred the end of the Euro 2013 play-off.

It came after Sunderland striker Connor Wickham’s injury-time goal clinched a 2-0 aggregate success.

Now Mr Robertson has sent a letter to UEFA president Michel Platini urging tough sanctions from the governing body.

The Minister said: “The scenes at the end of the game last night were disgraceful.

“I have written to UEFA president Michel Platini, in support of the FA, urging them to investigate immediately.

“Racism in any form is unacceptable and must be stamped out. We would expect tough sanctions from UEFA on anyone found guilty of racist abuse.”

Mr Robertson has also given his full support to the Football Association, who reported a number of incidents of racism to UEFA.

Rose was sent off after the final whistle for kicking a ball in anger in response to provocation as scuffles broke out involving Serbian supporters, players and other officials.

He said: “I remember getting slapped twice and then I got ushered away.

“That’s when I kicked the ball - and the referee sent me off. I don’t understand, the game had finished by then but he still sent me off for kicking the ball.

“As I went off again there was monkey chanting, but the monkey chanting started long before I got sent off.

“After 60 minutes my head wasn’t really on the game. They have to be banned. I don’t understand how else they can learn from it, they have to be banned.”

England assistant coach Steve Wigley was caught up in the trouble and was manhandled as he made his way to the tunnel after the game.

Rose said the issues were a culmination of problems which had been brewing throughout the evening at the Mladost Stadium.

The 22-year-old added: “It started when we went out for the warm-up.

“They started the monkey chanting straight away. I asked the lads if they could hear it and they said they could hear it.

“Halfway through the warm-up I went to ‘Wigs’, the assistant manager, and told him what was happening.

“He said I had to try my best to get through it and they would deal with it straight away after the game.

“In the first half I went down to get the ball for a throw-in and the fans started again with the monkey chants, but the first half was nowhere near as bad as the second half.

“In the second half I had two stones hit me on the head when I went to get the ball for a throw-in. Every time I touched the ball there was monkey chanting again.

“After 60 minutes my mind wasn’t really on the game after that. I was just so angry and it was just so hard to concentrate.

“I could have cost the lads the game because I made a few mistakes through not concentrating.

“Then obviously we scored. After 90 minutes’ worth of abuse I just expressed my emotions as soon as we scored.

“Then the next thing I know all the Serbia players have run over and were all surrounding me, pushing me and a brawl broke out.”