England Win Overshadowed by Racist Chanting
England’s Under 21 team achieved qualification from their group with a convincing 2-0 victory over group winners Serbia, but the game was overshadowed by the racist chanting and abuse meted out to the English players by section of the Serbian supporters. England’s Nedum Onuoha, who Footy Boots interviewed prior to the tournament (Read the article), was particularly singled out for the disgraceful taunts. England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce backed the player to cope with the abuse. “He’s an outstanding young man, not just as a footballer,” said Pearce. UEFA is said to be investigating the incidents, but the toothless organisation, going on previous similar incidents is unlikely, or perhaps just unwilling, to act on the behaviour of the crowd for fearing of isolating or offending Serbia and its neighbours.
The game itself provided a talking point as England’s second goal, by Matt Derbyshire wearing Nike Mercurial Vapor III football boots, came as Serbian defender Filip Rydel was on the ground injured, playing Derbyshire onside! The Serbian players protested as strongly as they could against the goal, but at the end the extra goal was irrelevant, as the win was achieved by England, much to the delight of their travelling supporters.
England and Serbia both progress to the semi-finals. England play Holland next on June 20th, whilst Serbia take on Belgium. A fired up England will face a tough challenge against the hosts, but will be looking for a strong, impassioned performance to take them into the final.
Read the Footy Boots Interview with Nedum Onuoha.
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