Nedum Onuoha believes many of the Serbians who chanted racist abuse at the controversial England under-21s game on Tuesday will “believe they’ve done nothing wrong”.
England’s victory over Serbia, which secured them a place in the Euro 13 championship, was marred by ugly scenes after the match, where supporters invaded the pitch, with racist chants heard and missiles being thrown. England’s Danny Rose, who is currently on loan at Sunderland, was sent off following the end of the game after he kicked a ball towards the crowd as a reaction to racist abuse. UEFA have now charged both Serbia and the FA over the incident. Onuoha received racist abuse himself when playing for England against Serbia in an under-21s match.
However, Onuoha believes that UEFA can do little to help the situation.
He said to the Sun, “We aren’t dealing with normal people here. If we were, then they wouldn’t be dishing out the comments in the first place. You can only truly punish someone if they accept they have done nothing wrong. We know they have. But these people still live in a time warp. They think there is nothing wrong with their views. They believe that what they are spouting is right. So do their mates and colleagues, and people sitting around them. No fine or ban is ever going to change that.
The QPR defender has also expressed his sympathy for Danny Rose, and feels that the FA must act to have the red card taken back. He said: “That was ridiculous. I feel so sorry for Danny. I know the FA have a lot on their plate dealing with what happened in Serbia. But they must get Danny’s red card rescinded, else it’ll all be in vain.”
On his experience of racism in 2007 he said: “They all began chanting at me. It was quite a shock.”
The Serbian FA have asked staff and players to give them reports on Tuesday night’s events.