Now firstly let’s preface this article with a general understanding that UEFA do obviously have a duty to be a neutral body. They are the governing body that runs UEFA competitions and under that umbrella of jurisdiction comes the under-21 European Championships that are taking place in Israel next summer.
Therefore the England game against Serbia last night came under their laws and regulations and their press work. Obviously they could not go in as passionately and one-sidedly as I might, as an outside adjudicator my opinions are my own and in my humble opinion it looked quite clear that the England players reacted to racist abuse that has been the plague of Serbian football in recent years.
If you need a reminder of what occurred:
But what stunned me the most was this:
The only negative for England was that Rose saw red for a second yellow card after the final whistle.
That’s it. The only piece of writing on UEFA’s official website in regards to this abhorrent and vile behaviour. Even a mention of ugly scenes at the end, the racism aspect didn’t need to come into it we could read between the lines of what they write. Instead they chose to completely ignore the issue. The words ‘however the game was marred after ugly scenes at the final whistle where several players were apparently subjected to racial abuse lead to Danny Rose being sent off for a second bookable offence’. Surely that is not too defamatory?
The wording as well is shocking; ‘the only negative’… the only negative?! Surely a bigger negative will be the upsetting abuse our black players were subjected to throughout the tie in Krusevac.
Sure UEFA will release a statement in due course when all the facts were in but it adds extra salt in the wounds of the referee’s decision to needlessly send Danny Rose from the pitch that when an immediate reaction from those who run the game is needed a complete ignorance of the issue is shown in a match report on their website.
It is likely a sign for the feeble punishments that will be laid at Serbian authorities doors in the wake of yet another sour night for football.
And now I retreat, back into my usual splintering on the fence mentality that is necessary when assessing footballing issues. However when it comes to the issue of racism, there is simply no excuse for sitting on any fences.
What are your thoughts on the actions and the UEFA match report?