Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has slammed Uefa’s decision to fine the Serbian FA £66,000 (€80,000) in the aftermath of the racism row and mass brawl following Serbia’s match with England Under-21 side in October.
Serbian coaches Andreja Milunović and Predrag Katić were banned from all football related activities for two years following their part in the incident, while four players from the Serbian team have been given short-term suspensions.
The Under-21 side will also have to play one game behind closed doors, but Ferdinand believes the punishment is sending out a weak message on dealing with racism within the game after the alleged abuse of Three Lions left-back Danny Rose ignited the incident.
He said on his Twitter page: “Uefa are not serious at all on racism. Fines do not work at all. They have zero impact on federations/clubs/fans/players. #fact.”
The 34-year-old believes harsher punishments are needed to deter racism from happening in all tiers of the sport and feels the people in charge of European football’s governing body need to take a stand.
He added: “Uefa need to talk to this generation…..they don’t seem to be up to date on this issue?? Harsh punishments needed as a deterrent #simple.”
Rio’s brother, QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, who was found by the FA to have been the recipient of racial abuse from Chelsea captain John Terry in a Premier League match last October, believes Uefa needs to toughen its stance against racism.
He expressed his disbelief that the severity of the sanctions is less than what Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner received for showing a sponsor on his clothing while celebrating a goal at Euro 2012.
He said: “Wow UEFA ain’t serious with there punishment… So showin a sponsor is worst than racism and fighting!”