Thursday , November 7 2019

No racism problem in Serbia, says Partizan Belgrade manager Savo Milosevic

Savo Milosevic’s Partizan Belgrade face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday

Serbia does not have a problem with racism, says Partizan Belgrade’s manager Savo Milosevic.

Partizan were ordered to play two games behind closed doors by Uefa in August as punishment “for the racist behaviour of its supporters”.

Red Star Belgrade and the Serbia national team have also faced sanctions over racism in the past month.

“I can honestly tell you, we don’t have a problem with racism,” said former Aston Villa forward Milosevic.

“We don’t have in our ministry any commission to treat that problem because we don’t have it in our country.”

When BBC Sport told Milosevic his side’s stadium was closed because of racist abuse, which occurred in a Europa League qualifying win over Yeni Malatyaspor, he replied: “It was not because of racism. You didn’t read well.”

Speaking before his side play Manchester United in the Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday, Milosevic added: “I played abroad for 14 years with so many players. Generally, I fought for democracy in my country and any kind of discrimination, for me, is unacceptable.

“That is my standing. I can only say that. I can only fight for these things. But, as I said so many times, we don’t have a problem in Serbia with racism.”

Before Red Star Belgrade’s home Champions League match against Tottenham on Wednesday, their boss Vladan Milojevic said Spurs would not suffer any racist abuse.

Red Star fans were banned from attending the reverse fixture two weeks ago after Uefa, European football’s governing body, sanctioned the club as a punishment for fans’ racist abuse against HJK Helsinki in July.

Serbia have also been ordered to play their Euro 2020 home qualifier against Luxembourg on 14 November behind closed doors because of the “racist behaviour” of their supporters in a 4-2 defeat by Portugal in September.