Sol: Points penalties should apply

PA Sport
Sol Campbell believes UEFA should introduce point deductions as a deterrent
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Sol Campbell believes UEFA should introduce point deductions as a deterrent

Former England defender Sol Campbell was aghast at the unsavoury scenes that marred England Under-21s' play-off in Serbia this week and has called on UEFA to introduce point deductions as a deterrent.

The under-21s' 1-0 victory in Krusevac, which saw them qualify for next year's European Championship in Israel, was completely overshadowed by apparent racism from the stands towards England full-back Danny Rose as well as a melee after the full-time whistle.

"It was as if there was no control from the fans, from the officials and to top it off Danny was getting abused all game from stone-throwing and monkey chants," Campbell told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "I think (UEFA should deduct) points and then after a while when you stop qualifying for these competitions I think people will start to wake up."

The Serbian federation (FSS) issued a statement "absolutely" denying there was any racism at all and branding the England players' behaviour "vulgar". UEFA charged both the English and Serbian associations for the improper conduct of their players, and the Serbs for "alleged racist chanting" by fans.

Former Arsenal and Tottenham centre-back Campbell believes the European governing body now needs to send a strong deterrent to prevent a repeat in the future, with fines having been issued for similar incidents in the past.

He added: "For me it was just disgusting, I really felt for him and I felt for the players out there because everyone concerned with England must have felt it.

"If you keep on knocking off six points, nine points, I think countries are going to start waking up because everybody wants the chance to play in the World Cup or European Championship. It's the only way you can actually start to wake up the powers that be.

"(We have to) get this idea into their heads that if you carry on then you might not qualify for another major tournament for 20 years."

Campbell, however, has lost faith in UEFA and believes national governments need to step in to resolve racism in football once and for all.

"I'd love UEFA or FIFA to do something about it but I honestly believe they're not going to do anything," he said. "I don't think they're going to find them guilty, I think (Serbia) are going to get out of it. The government have to get involved, you cannot leave it to associations any more, it never gets done."

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