UEFA appeals against Serbia sanctions

Chard & Ilminster News: UEFA will appeal against all the sanctions imposed in relation to October's Serbia v England Under-21 play-off match UEFA will appeal against all the sanctions imposed in relation to October's Serbia v England Under-21 play-off match

UEFA is to appeal against all the sanctions imposed in relation to the controversial Serbia v England Under-21 play-off in October, including the punishments imposed for racist abuse by Serbian supporters.

Serbia's Under-21 side were ordered to play one match behind closed doors and the national federation were fined £65,000 in relation to the racist behaviour of their supporters during the match at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac on October 16. The punishment, imposed by UEFA's independent control and disciplinary panel on December 13, was widely criticised for being too lenient.

"UEFA, via the UEFA disciplinary inspector appointed to the case, has decided to appeal all the sanctions," read a statement on UEFA's official website.

The 2013 European Under-21 Championship play-off second leg was marred by racist chanting and scenes of violence.

England were also censured, with Steven Caulker and Tom Ince receiving two and one-match bans respectively for their involvement in the brawl sparked by racist abuse directed at Danny Rose.

UEFA president Michel Platini was understood to be considering an appeal to increase the severity of the sanctions against the Serbian team given the nature of the incidents.

Wednesday's statement continued: "As per the UEFA disciplinary regulations, the UEFA disciplinary inspector has the right to open disciplinary investigations and to lodge appeals against decisions taken by the control and disciplinary body.

"Having reviewed the motivated decisions for the sanctions imposed in this specific case, which have also been provided to all parties, the UEFA disciplinary inspector felt it necessary to immediately confirm his intention to appeal on UEFA's behalf."

The UEFA disciplinary inspector has until January 8 to lodge the appeal, the same deadline to which the Serbian and English FAs must adhere to if they wish to appeal against the sanctions.

UEFA also banned Serbian coaches Andreja Milunovic and Predrag Katic from all football-related activities for two years, with the final six months of that suspended for a probationary period. Serbia's Goran Causic was suspended for four matches, while Ognjen Mudrinski and Filip Malbasic were given three-game bans. Nikola Ninkovic was suspended for two fixtures.

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