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UEFA dishes out punishment to Serbian and English youngsters for brawl in U-21 game

UEFA, the governing football body in Europe dished out punishments to both the English and the Serbian football associations as well as bans for the players involved in a scuffle that broke out between the teams during their U-21 European championship qualifying game in Serbia in October of this year.

The notable sanctions handed out are as follows:

->Serbia fined €80,000 (£65,900) and one match behind closed doors.

->Steven Caulker banned for 2 matches and Tom Ince banned for 1 for their involvement in the melee.

The UEFA statement regarding punishment to the Serbian side were as follows:

• Suspend Serbia fitness coach Andreja Milunovi? from all football-related activities for two years, the second of which is suspended for a probationary period of three years. FIFA will be requested to extend this decision so as to give it a worldwide effect.

• Suspend Serbia assistant coach Predrag Kati? from all football-related activities for two years, the final six months of which are suspended for a probationary period of three years. FIFA will be requested to extend this decision so as to give it a worldwide effect.

• Suspend Serbia player Goran Cauši? for four UEFA national team competition matches.

• Suspend Serbia player Ognjen Mudrinski for three UEFA national team competition matches.

• Suspend Serbia player Filip Malbaši? for three UEFA national team competition matches.

• Suspend Serbia player Nikola Ninkovi? for two UEFA national team competition matches.

The UEFA statement regarding punishment to the English side were as follows:

• Suspend England player Steven Caulker for two UEFA national team competition matches. This suspension applies to the following games: England v Italy on 5 June 2013 and England v Norway on 8 June 2013.

• Suspend England player Thomas Ince for one UEFA national team competition match. This suspension applies to the following game: England v Italy on 5 June 2013.

The Serbian FA Serbian FA had already decide to ban  Nikola Ninkovic and Ognjen Mudrinski for a year from all national teams activities, while goal keeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic and conditioning coach Andreja Milutinovic had been barred from national team activities as well for a period of two years.

The decision of the UEFA will come as a shock to most after a more severe punishment was expected for Serbia as black English players were subject to racial abuse via monkey chants and missiles. This will surely bring the credibility of the body into question. The fine for the Serbian team seems to be a paltry one considering Nicolas Bendtner was fined 80K for his issue with the pants at Euro 2012. Another thing that propped up curiously was that in the entire UEFA statement, there were no reference to ‘racism’. The term used for the penalties imposed was ‘improper conduct’.

The respective sides will have three days to challenge the judgement.

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