Monday June 18 2012
Platini surprised by Azzurri

UEFA President Michel Platini is surprised at how Italy’s attacking intent has changed and blasted the “idiot” Croatian fans who racially abused Mario Balotelli.

The Azzurri risk going out of Euro 2012 this evening after twice leading Spain and Croatia, but finishing with 1-1 draws.

“I was surprised by how attacking the Italian team was,” joked Platini. “It’s incredible that they allowed themselves to be caught despite leading 1-0.

“After the Pope, the biggest religion in Italy is that if you’re 1-0 up, it’s impossible for your opponent to equalise!”

Platini also commented on the disciplinary proceedings against Croatia, whose fans racially abused Balotelli, reportedly even throwing a banana on to the pitch when he was substituted.

“Croatia have a great team and play good football, but among their fans are around 100 idiots. We knew incidents of racism could happen in this tournament and I am not happy.

“It is a problem and even if it only happened once, that is already too much for us.”

Meanwhile, there was a bizarre moment in Gdansk this evening when the stadium staff tested the electronic scoreboard.

They decided to run the test with a Croatia 2-2 Spain scoreline – the exact result that would qualify both teams and eliminate Italy from Euro 2012.

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