Croatia govt urged to act on Euro16 flares

Nov 17, 2014 - 8:54 PM Croatia's Football Federation (HNS) on Monday urged the government to act and put an end to hooliganism following ugly flare-throwing incidents during the country's Euro 2016 qualifying tie in Italy.

The incidents at Milan's San Siro stadium tarnished Sunday's match that ended in a 1-1 draw, with a 10-minute stoppage after visiting fans targeted goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon with flares.

"Unfortunately, the Croatian team's excellent performance slid into the background due to the incidents seen by the whole world," a HNS statement said.

The HNS lamented that "well deserved praises were taken away from them (the team) by hooligans who unjustly call themselves Croatia fans".

Condemning the incidents, the federation urged the Balkan country's judicial bodies to prosecute all hooligans who took part in the trouble.

"We urge all other segments of society, starting with the government, to consider those incidents, which shamed the Croatian state, as the 'drop that spilled the cup' which will push all those who can influence the solving of problems to energetic and decisive reactions."

The HNS said it was not the only hostage of hooliganism, due to which, it said, it was paying "draconian fines to FIFA and UEFA", but rather the whole country "whose reputation is harmed immeasurably by such incidents.

"Unlike HNS, the state has mechanisms and power to eradicate hooliganism, violence and illegal behaviour at stadiums."

The federation apologised to hosts Italy and spectators at the match.

But it also argued that they had warned their Italian counterparts and UEFA representatives on failures in the Italian ticket sales system, due to which some 1400 Croatian tickets bypassed the federation and ended up in hooligan hands.

After Sunday's match, Croatia remained top of Group H with Italy still second.

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!