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Dec 14, 2012

Villas-Boas expects Caulker appeal

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas is expecting Football Association officials to appeal against the highly contentious two-game suspension handed down to his defender Steven Caulker by UEFA.

Caulker was punished for his role in the ugly scenes at the end of England's Under-21 European Championship play-off in Serbia last October, and Villas-Boas has joined the chorus of outrage that has followed the UEFA ruling, which has been viewed as exceptionally lenient given the racist nature of the abuse England players received.

The Serbian FA were fined €80,000 (£65,000) and ordered to play a single Under 21 match behind closed doors as a result of the events at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac, yet Villas-Boas suggests the punishment does not fit the crime.

"It's difficult to take," Villas-Boas said. "This has really run away from the pattern of what UEFA has been doing. The level of sanctioning financially for the federations and the clubs doesn't really affect them in any way or form."

Asked about Caulker, he added: "I think the FA has a right to react. I spoke to the player - he is obviously very disappointed. After what I've heard from my players, this is very difficult to take. The situation they went through... to see this outcome is difficult.

"It is not my position to reveal another body's decision making, but I would expect the FA to do that (appeal against the ban). They have expressed their disappointment with the verdict and there are several ways to take it now. That includes trying to right what is wrong in Steven's case."

Villas-Boas' comments can be added to the long list of voices speaking out against the sanctions against Serbia, with UEFA president Michel Platini said to be among those furious with the decision made by his own disciplinary committee. He is reported to be considering intervening in the case.

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