UEFA contemplating appeal to increase penalty on Serbian FA for ‘racist offences’

London: UEFA is set to review its rule book in an attempt to take tougher action against incidents of racism following extensive criticism of the penalties handed to Serbia this week.

The Serbian FA was given UEFA’s toughest punishment for racist offences following the widespread abuse and violence that marred England’s European Under-21 Championship play-off in October.

Despite this, the FA led criticism of the punishment, and UEFA president Michel Platini will consider appealing to increase the punishment against the disciplinary body’s ruling when the full reasons for the judgment are released to him next week, the Telegraph reports.

Serbia were ordered to play one under-21 game behind closed doors, fined 65,000 pounds, and four players were banned for between two and four matches, and two coaches were banned for two years.

The FA will almost certainly appeal against the bans handed to Stephen Caulker (two matches) and Tom Ince (one match) but a final decision will depend on the contents of the full written reasons from UEFA, the paper added.

FA officials have no idea what caused the disciplinary body to find both men guilty of improper conduct, it said.

Both were caught in the melee that followed the final whistle, but FA sources say footage they have seen only shows the players taking defensive action.

UEFA was struck by the level of criticism the sanctions received in England, and at the reaction of the FA, whose general secretary Alex Horne said an opportunity to send a strong message had been missed, it reported.

With Platini considering a rare appeal against a decision of the independent disciplinary body, the regulations used to govern the sort of disorder and abuse heard in Serbia will now be reviewed, the paper concluded.


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