Soccer: Rio Ferdinand rips into UEFA on racism

Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand. Photo / Getty Images
Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand. Photo / Getty Images

Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has accused UEFA of not taking racism seriously after Serbia were fined €80,000 ($124,200) following an under-21 match in which England players claimed racial abuse.

Serbia were fined, two coaches and four players suspended, and the team ordered to play their next game behind closed doors after the chaotic European under-21 qualifier in Krusevac on October 16.

England defender Danny Rose was sent off for kicking the ball away in response to what he said was monkey chanting and physical provocation.

Scuffles also broke out between players, coaches and supporters at the end of the match.

"UEFA are not serious at all on racism. Fines don't work at all. They have zero impact on federations/clubs/fans/players. #fact," Ferdinand wrote on Twitter. "UEFA need to talk to this generation ... they don't seem to be up to date on this issue?? Harsh punishments needed as a deterrent."

Ferdinand has made no secret of his desire to see tougher sanctions to combat racism in football.

His brother, Anton, was racially abused by John Terry in a match last year and although the Chelsea captain was given a four-game ban, the Professional Footballers' Association and FA came in for severe criticism.

"UEFA has ordered the Serbian Under-21 national team to play their next competition home match behind closed doors, after a number of incidents during and after the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship," said a UEFA statement yesterday. "The Football Association of Serbia has also been fined €80,000."

Serbia fitness coach Andreja Milunovic and assistant coach Predrag Katic were both banned from all football-related activities for two years. Players Goran Causic (banned for four matches), Ognjen Mudrinski (three matches), Filip Malbasic (three matches) and Nikola Ninkovic (two matches) were also punished.

Disciplinary proceedings against Aleksandar Pantic were dismissed. England's Steven Caulker (two matches) and Thomas Ince (one match) were also suspended.

- AFP, AAP

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