The Welsh FA are being urged to make a formal complaint to UEFA, following the racial abuse at the Serbia – Wales Euro 2004 qualifier in Belgrade on Wednesday 20 August, 2003. The Welsh under 21 side faced similar abuse the previous evening during their 3-0 defeat.
The Wales manager, Mark Hughes joined many of his players in highlighting the monkey chanting directed at Danny Gabbidon, Nathan Blake and Robert Earnshaw at the Red Star Stadium.
Similar treatment had been meted out to under-21 goalkeeper and captain, Jason Brown, the previous evening. He was abused every time he took a goal kick or collected the ball.
“It’s sad in this day and age, and it disappoints me that it can happen. I will have to consider whether I ask the FAW to complain on my behalf.” said Jason Brown.
The incidents come seven weeks before the anti-racism week of action in European football kicks- off on October 16th with over 600 activities expected to take place in every part of the continent.
Piara Powar, Director of UK campaign, Kick It Out, today said,
“The Wales incident is the first of what has become a regular and depressing occurrence during the early part of the season.”
“Mark Hughes and his players have been joined by the Welsh FA in condemning the incidents, but for action to be taken a formal complaint with appropriate evidence should be presented as soon as possible.”