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Hernandez: Cruz Azul vs. Tigres pivotal

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Rose receives Platini backing

Sunderland defender Danny Rose has received the backing of UEFA President Michel Platini over his version events of the recent trouble between England Under-21s and Serbia Under-21s.

• Mihajlovic fears heavy punishment

Rose, 22, claims he was subjected to racist abuse by Serbia fans before, during and after the Euro 2013 play-off game in Krusevac - something Platini has described as "disgraceful".

British Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson wrote to Platini personally in a bid to express his anger at the events that unfolded. In a reply to the Football Association Platini condemned the behaviour of the fans, before adding that it should never again be seen on a football pitch.

"Michel Platini has written back and said in unequivocal terms that they were disgraceful scenes that we shouldn't be seeing on a football pitch," said the FA's General Secretary Alex Horne.

Since the incident the Serbian FA has released its own video in which it questions the claims that Rose was racially abused, subscribing to the view that "there was no unsportsmanlike cheering and insulting of players on racial grounds".

However, Horne has strenuously rebuffed these claims, citing both eyewitness accounts and amateur video footage in his counter-argument against the video.

"That's not what I have seen on the video clips and it's not what I have heard from eyewitness reports of multiple people who were on the trip," he said.

"What the players went through out there is abhorrent."

With Rose keen to put the incident behind him, he recently revealed how excited he was to take part in the Wear-Tyne derby, citing the positive atmosphere as the best of his career.

"I'm not just saying this because I'm at Sunderland now, but that was the best atmosphere I've ever experienced," Rose said.

"It's a cliche in football, but the fans really were the 12th man and they helped us over the finish line. I'm just disappointed it wasn't all three points."

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