England’s Caulker, Ince charged in Serbia
England under-21 players Steven Caulker and Thomas Ince have reportedly been charged by Serbian police for their role in an on-field brawl at the end of a match marred by racial abuse from the crowd.
State news agency Tanjug identified the two after police in the town of Krusevac, where the Serbia-England match was played Oct. 16, charged 12 unidentified people on Tuesday for committing “an act of violence during a sports event.”
The agency said England assistant coach Steve Wingley was also charged, along with four players and an assistant coach for Serbia plus several fans.
Belgrade’s Beta news agency had earlier reported that Leeds defender Tom Lees had been charged instead of Ince, a winger with Blackpool.
Tanjug said Serbia’s prosecutors will hand over the case involving the Englishmen to British judicial authorities.
Defender Caulker’s club, Tottenham, said “neither The FA, the player or the club have received any formal notification of a charge.”
“The FA has confirmed that they will seek to determine the validity of such reports and the formal position and that they are continuing their discussions with the government to bring this matter to a swift and satisfactory conclusion,” Tottenham said in a statement. “The club has requested all available information on this matter and will continue to liaise with The FA.”
The four Serbian players charged are Ognjen Mudrinski, Goran Causic, Djordje Despotovic and Aleksandar Kirovski, according to Tanjug.
Players and officials from both teams clashed on the pitch following the final whistle amid accusations of racist abuse from fans toward England defender Danny Rose, who was sent off after the match for kicking a ball into the stands.
The Serbian team has accused Rose of triggering the incidents after the final whistle with inappropriate gestures toward the crowd. He said he was racially abused with monkey chants throughout the match.
England won 2-0 on aggregate to qualify for the Under-21 European Championship.
UEFA has charged both countries’ football associations for the brawl, and promised tough action against Serbia for the racial abuse.
The cases will be dealt with at a meeting of UEFA’s control and disciplinary body on November 22.