Saturday June 16 2012
Croatian FA condemns 'hooligans'

The Croatian Football Federation condemned “deviant behaviour” from “hooligans” against Italy that prompted UEFA to begin disciplinary proceedings.

Today UEFA announced it was taking action after racist chants, offensive banners and even reports of a banana thrown on to the pitch were aimed at Mario Balotelli.

Play was also repeatedly halted in Thursday’s 1-1 draw when fireworks were hurled from the stands.

“The Croatian Football Federation distances itself from all deviant behaviour of the part of the fans during the final tournament of UEFA Euro 2012 and strongly condemns it,” read a statement.

“The Croatian Football Federation, its national team players and members of the technical staff support all UEFA activities aimed at identifying individuals whose behaviour damages the reputation of the competition, no matter which country they come from.

“The Croatian Football Federation appeals to UEFA not to punish the Croatian national team, which is for a number of years at the top of world football because of its performances and behaviour, both on and off the field of play, and not to associate it with the part of the fans who actually are not supporters, but hooligans which should be isolated from all sports events.”

Croatia are under pressure, as they were already fined €25,000 on Friday after their fans threw fireworks and objects against the Republic of Ireland, one supporter even staging a pitch-invasion.

Just under four years ago they were also fined for racist chanting against England’s Emile Heskey in a World Cup qualifier.

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