Serbian police charge players following Euro play-off match31 October 2012

Why no action on racism? asks FARE

Serbian police have filed criminal charges against 11 people, including two England Under-21 players and 1 coach, and four Serbia players and 1 coach, following a Euro 2013 play-off match last month.

The charges relate to the brawl which followed England's 1-0 win over Serbia in Krusevac on 16 October. Members of the England party – players and officials – have said Danny Rose was subjected to racist chants from the crowd. He was sent off as the match ended for kicking away a ball.

The charges originate from Police in the town of Krusevac who said those charged had “committed an act of violence during a sports event”.

Three supporters were also charged for using pyrotechnics on the northern side of the Mladost stadium.

Uefa has charged both teams over the conduct of players and the cases will be heard at a meeting of their control and disciplinary body on 22 November.

The Serbian Football Association have banned two players – Nikola Ninkovic, 17 and Ognjen Mudrinski, 20 – for a year for their involvement. In addition goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic and conditioning coach Andreja Milutinovic were given two-year bans for their part in the disturbances.

Piara Powar of the FARE network commented, “Police authorities in every country have the right to bring criminal charges wherever they have evidence of wrong doing.

“However these charges relate to an on-pitch brawl that took place after a tense sporting event with qualification for a major tournament at stake.

“There was also the context of a major incident of racism, in which players from one of the teams were subjected to racism throughout the game. No action has resulted on that matter and so in effect the police authorities are acting selectively, why has there been no action on that matter?

We urge the Serbian police authorities to leave the on-pitch issues to the football authorities and deal with the widespread and serious racism in evidence at the match.”