FA fury as England stars face police charges over Serb brawl

Oct 31, 2012

Danny Rose, the victim of racist abuse in Krusevac, could now be jailed in Serbia

DANNY ROSE, the England under-21 player subjected to racist abuse by Serbian fans earlier this month, is believed to be one of two England players now facing criminal charges brought by police investigating a fight at the end of the game.

Two members of the team as well as a member of the England coaching staff have been charged along with five Serbian players and four others after an investigation into the appalling scenes after the game in Krusevac. Police said those charged had "committed an act of violence during a sports event".

The players and coach have not been named, but one of them is thought to be Rose, who was sent off after the final whistle. The coach is believed to be Steve Wigley, who was punched and kicked in the stomach during the melee.

"The charges have opened the prospect of England players and officials being imprisoned in Serbia," reports The Daily Telegraph. "Senior figures within the FA are understood to be stunned and angered by the charges."

A furious Daily Mail declared: "Serbia's risible attempts to discredit England [have] reached a new low."

"This latest move, focusing simply on the brawl, appears designed to muddy the waters ahead of a hearing in Switzerland on 22 November with the FA and the Serbian Football Federation over the conduct of their players," it said.

The FA is set to enlist the support of the British Government in fighting the charges. The Times said they will try to "work out the best way to proceed with a delicate matter that has the potential to develop into a diplomatic incident".

The match in Serbia was marred by racist chanting at England's black players, and when England scored a winner with the last kick of the game a huge brawl erupted and Rose was sent off for kicking the ball away. Afterwards the Serbian FA accused him of behaving in a "vulgar" manner.

"Ever since the game, Serbia have attempted a number of stunts to deflect some of the blame on to England," says the Mail. Their efforts have included a carefully edited video designed to prove that there was no racism.

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