ENGLAND’S UNDER-21 TEAM qualified for the 2013 European Championships in Serbia but had precious little time to celebrate as a mass brawl, sparked by vicious taunts from the home crowd, erupted.
England scored an injury time goal, through Conor Wickham, to make it 2-0 on aggregate against the Serbians.
As the English players gathered to celebrate, in front of a large section of the home supporters, a number of missiles were thrown from the crowd.
The Serbian players, incensed at what they perceived as the visiting team mocking their fans, piled into the English team with kicks and punches thrown with abandon.
As officials and players attempted to quell the chaos, Sunderland defender Danny Rose, currently on loan from Spurs, kicked a football into the Serbian fans.
As he was being led from the pitch by teammates, Turkish referee Huseyin Gocek brandished Rose’s second yellow card of the night and sent him off.
Rose then mimicked monkey gestures to the home fans, in response to what he believed was racist chants, before giving them a thumbs up gesture.
The decision did little to calm tensions as English players and coaches continued to be assaulted as they made from the pitch.
Daily Motion credit: Ricardo109x
Speaking after the match, England U21 coach Stuart Pearce told the BBC, “There were one or two racist incidents from the crowd and we have reported them to Uefa. They will have to deal with that. I am proud of my players and the staff. He added:
It was very sad, but we’re united as a team and as a staff. A lot if happening in our country regarding stamping out racism. It’s just a shame this was soured in the last few minutes of the second leg of the tie. We’ll let the authorities deal with this.
“No matter what provocation comes your way we are in a profession where you have to hold your dignity. That is vitally important as a professional footballer. It was a tough evening tonight for them.”