On the heels of a surreal moment in a Euro 2016 match between Croatia and the Czech Republic in which Croatian fans threw active flares onto the pitch, the guilty nation’s head coach as well as UEFA itself are coming down hard on the perpetrators.
In a presser following the 2-2 draw between Croatia and Czech Republic, Croatian head coach Ante Cacic labeled the hooligans who threw flares onto the pitch as ‘sports terrorists’ and lamented the inability of his nation’s government or football association to solve the problem.
“We were exposed to the terror of hooligans who have no place in sports arenas and I sincerely hope they will be identified and brought to justice,” Cacic said, per the Telegraph.
“They are terrorists, sports terrorists, a specific group. Unfortunately, they still exist and even enjoy some kind of support at home.
“What hurts me is that the (Croatian) authorities will not deal with the problem.
“The government has not done enough to eradicate them while the Croatian Football Association just doesn’t have the repressive tools to do it on its own.
“This is just a handful of thugs, maybe a dozen, but many Croatian patriots, including the players who wear the shirt with so much pride and passion, are now ashamed in front of the whole of Europe.”
Per NBC and Sky Sports, UEFA has confirmed that it will open disciplinary proceedings over the disturbances during the match.
UEFA confirms it will open disciplinary proceedings over disturbances during Croatia’s v Czech Republic. (via Sky) pic.twitter.com/A6I3kPfJHh
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) June 17, 2016
Among the charges levied against the Croatian Football Association in the past are a €100,000 fine and point deduction for burning a swastika onto the pitch of a game, along with other accusations of racist or improper behaviour from fans.
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