While most of us were engulfed in one or more of the many games from last night’s World Cup qualifiers, memories from that one night in 2007 was rekindled in a U-21 game between England and Serbia.
Most of us figured that Serbia would have learnt from the lessons of the U-21 Euro’s 2007 (in Holland) where English defender Nedum Onouha was the victim of verbal racist abuse midway through the game. Even current Manager Stuart Pearce thought the same and undermined the incident, which took place in 2007, as a one-time and lesson learnt for Serbia.
But today, as the final whistle was blown, one could see punches and kicks being thrown by players of both teams at Stadion Mladost in Kruševac, Serbia. The cameras primarily focus on Tottenham Hotspur defender currently at Sunderland – Danny Rose being very distraught. To a point where he is seen kicking the ball towards the stands, which earns him a Red card. Not sure how could he get one for that incident, and that too after the game had ended, but that is a different topic in all. As he continues walking towards the tunnel, Rose acknowledged the Serbian crowd by referring to a monkey action, in a very satirical manner.
At the end of the riot, England assistant manager Steve Wigley was seen being shoved by the opposition players and staff as he walked towards the tunnel.
Only a few days ago, similar racist remarks, be it unintentional, was geared towards the UAE national team. All eyes will be on UEFA and subsequently, the Serbian FA to come forth with an acceptable reprimand and an apology from the latter. But, it goes beyond that. With a year marred with racist incidents throughout the sport, one should ask whether the governing bodies are doing enough to really kick it out of football?
Watch the video below:
PS: England U-21 team qualified for the Euro 2013 after Connor Wickham scored the game winner in stoppage time.