Croatian FA hit with hefty UEFA fine

Jun 20, 2016 - 5:06 PM UEFA have fined Croatia $AU150,000 following crowd trouble during last week's Euro 2016 clash with the Czech Republic.

The disciplinary committee of European football's ruling body also prohibited the Croatian federation HNS from selling tickets to fans identified as hooligans - deferred on probation for the remainder of the tournament.

UEFA stopped short of harsher sanctions although Croatia are repeat offenders and it last week handed Russia a suspended disqualification from the tournament after some of their fans had charged into a section with England fans after their match in Marseille.

Friday's game in St Etienne was stopped for four minutes after Croatian fans threw fireworks onto the pitch and fought among themselves.

UEFA investigated on charges of "crowd disturbances, use of fireworks, throwing of missiles and racist behaviour." The HNS apologised in a statement and said "the inefficiency, inactivity, and the lack of desire from the government institutions" on the issue had led to a situation in which "today we have all become hostages of a group of hooligans."

Croatia has been sanctioned by UEFA and the world governing body FIFA several times in the past over crowd trouble, including being docked a point in Euro 2016 qualifying after a swastika was put on the pitch in Split ahead of a qualifier with Italy with the help of chemicals.

Captain Ivan Rakitic had pleaded to UEFA not to kick his team out of the Euros and that everything should be done that such incidents don't occur again.

Croatia play their last group match against holders Spain on Tuesday can advance into the last 16 at the Euros. They beat Turkey 1-0 but were held 2-2 by the Czechs after leading 2-0, the equaliser coming from a 90th minute penalty shortly after the interruption which affected the team.

Croatia with their skilful team are considered among the contenders for the title.

Source: AAP

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