Ince calls for Serbia ban after England Under-21 melee

Former England midfielder Paul Ince has called for Serbia to be banned from international competition after the post-match brawl with England U-21s that appeared to be sparked by the reaction of England players to racist abuse from the stands, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Danny Rose, the Tottenham Hotspur utility player on loan at Sunderland, was shown a second yellow card after he kicked a ball into the crowd in what is thought to have been a reaction to racist abuse from a section of supporters. The situation degenerated further with scuffles breaking out on the pitch involving players and coaches, with England backroom members Martin Thomas and Steve Wigley reportedly head-butted and jostled by Serbian coaches.

The Football Association have confirmed they have lodged complaints with UEFA over racist abuse, while the England players were targeted by missiles from the crowd after celebrating their late goal that clinched progression to the European U-21 Championships next year.

Ince, whose son Tom was part of Stuart Pearce’s U-21 side, believes a severe punishment is needed to underscore that the sort of behaviour seen on Tuesday evening is not acceptable. He said: “If it was up to me, they would be kicked out for the next five tournaments. It takes us back to the dark ages.

When your son’s out there, it’s worrying. You could just see that it England were to win or go through, it was getting more hostile.

“[FIFA boss] Sepp Blatter and [UEFA chief] Michel Platini need to look at this. If it was me they [Serbia] would be kicked out for the next five tournaments – European, World Cups – but they will get a little ban and that will be it.

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