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Two England U21 players charged by Serbian police

ESPN staff
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Danny Rose was shown a red card against Serbia for kicking the ball into the crowd © Getty Images
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Serbian police have filed charges against members of the Serbia and England Under-21 teams in connection with the fight that took place at the end of the recent play-off match in Krusevac.

A brawl broke out after England scored a late goal to make sure of their place at the European Under-21 Football Championship next year, with the visitors alleging racial abuse had taken place during the game.

England defenders Steven Caulker and Tom Lees have reportedly been charged by Serbian police for committing "an act of violence during a sports event" according to Belgrade's Beta news agency.

Earlier, police in Krusevac announced that 12 people have been charged for committing acts of violence. Among them are five Serbia players, Caulker, Lees and assistant coaches from both teams - including England's Steve Wigley. Three fans have also been charged for the use of flares and smoke canisters.

Alisa Maric, the Minister of Youth and Sports, outlined the Serbian Government's determination to bring an end to violence at stadiums in the country. She said on rtv.rs: "Taking swift action demonstrates the determination of the authorities in the fight against violence.

"Stadiums are places in which to enjoy sporting contests, not areas for fights and provocation. The state is determined that sporting events are made safe and we will fight to ensure further incidents at stadiums do not occur.

"That is why, after the events in Krusevac, I have insisted on the formation of a national council to fight violence in sport, led by Prime Minister Ivica Dacic."

Later on Tuesday, the FA revealed in a statement that it was yet to be contacted by authorities in Serbia, saying only that it was taking advice from the British Government as well as UEFA.

"Further to the Serbian police announcement regarding charging English Under-21 players and staff, the Football Association can confirm it has not received any formal notification of any charges filed by the Serbian authorities," the statement read.

"We have not been made aware of any of the names of individuals connected with these charges and we therefore await further details and formal communication on these matters.

"Meanwhile we are in contact with the British Government for advice, as well as speaking with our colleagues at UEFA."

The Serbian football association has already handed two-year bans to coaches Srdjan Maksimovic and Andreja Milutinovic and one-year suspensions to Ognjen Mudrinski and Nikola Ninkovic, who clashed with England's Danny Rose. However, the FSS denied the accusations of racism.

UEFA has also charged both countries and the cases will be heard on November 22.

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