Police charge 12 after Serbia-England U-21 fracas
BELGRADE - Serbian police have charged 12 people with violent conduct after a mass brawl following a Euro Under-21 qualifier against England two weeks ago.
"Charges have been pressed against five Serbia players and an assistant coach, two England players and an assistant coach as well as three fans," the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.
"According to the instructions of the public prosecutor's office in Krusevac, they have been charged with violent conduct at a public sports event on October 16 at the Mladost stadium.
"The three fans have been charged with the use of fireworks."
None of those charged were identified.
A brawl involving players and staff from both sides broke out after the second leg match which England won 1-0 to seal a 2-0 aggregate victory and reach next year's finals in Israel.
England left back Danny Rose, who was sent off along with Serbia's Nikola Ninkovic, said he was racially abused and pelted with missiles by the home fans before, during and after the game.
The Serbian Football Association denied the racism charges and UEFA's disciplinary committee is to review the video evidence before announcing its verdict on Nov. 22.
UEFA president Michel Platini said last week Serbia could face tough sanctions if found guilty of racism.
"We will get the report from the delegates and the report from the officials - we have television footage and the disciplinary committee will deal with it," Platini told reporters at a Euro 2016 meeting.
The English Football Association reacted to the announcement of the Serbian police charges by pledging to support its players and staff.
"We are in contact with the British Government for advice as well as speaking with our colleagues at UEFA," said the FA in a statement. "The FA reiterates its position of full support for all players and staff caught up in the appalling scenes in Serbia.
"We want to reassure those concerned that we are committed to doing everything necessary to protect them whilst also offering support to individuals and their families." (Reporting by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by John Mehaffey)