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FA still waiting on charges against former Saints boss
11:12am Thursday 1st November 2012 in Sport
The Football Association is still awaiting formal notice of any charges reportedly levelled at England Under-21 players Steven Caulker and Tom Lees and former Saints boss Steve Wigley by the Serbian police.
Spurs defender Caulker, 20, and Leeds centre-back Lees, 21, are understood by the FA to be the players who may face charges after last month's stormy international in Krusevac. Wigley is a member of boss Stuart Pearce’s coaching staff.
Serbia's public prosecutor is determining whether to pursue the matter but the FA has yet to hear anything on the record from officials in the eastern European country.
"The FA continues to remain in close contact with the UK Government regarding the continued media reports of Serbian police charging England U21 players and staff," said an FA statement.
"There remains no formal communication of any charges to the FA or the Government.
"However, we understand there has been a verbal communication of the names of the individuals concerned, which we now believe to be England players Steven Caulker and Tom Lees, and coach Steve Wigley.
"The FA would like to reaffirm its support for all of our players and staff and we have spoken with the players' clubs and those named to express this.
"The FA has been taking legal advice in both the UK and Serbia to provide appropriate protection should any charges be brought.
"We welcome the support we are receiving from the UK Government."
Trouble flared at the match on October 16 after Connor Wickham struck in injury time for England to secure a 1-0 win and passage to next summer's finals in Israel courtesy of a 2-0 aggregate success.
Missiles were thrown onto the pitch as players celebrated and the scenes turned uglier as some fans got onto the playing surface and there were clashes involving team members and staff of both teams.
The Serbian federation (FSS) handed lengthy bans to two players and two officials for their part in the confrontations.
This trouble also played out against a backdrop of alleged racial abuse from the stands towards England players.
Defender Danny Rose complained he had been particularly targeted and was sent off after the final whistle for kicking a ball away in anger amid the chaos.
European governing body UEFA launched its own disciplinary proceedings, charging the FA and its Serbian counterparts over the behaviour of their players and the FSS for the alleged racist chanting by some supporters.
A UEFA spokesperson said: "UEFA's control and disciplinary body will meet on November 22 to deal with this case and take a decision.
"The police charges/investigation are independent from us and do not impact the sporting disciplinary proceedings."
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