Croatia escape with UEFA fine over Euro 2016 crowd trouble

Croatia were fined 100,000 euros (112,000 dollars) on Monday in connection with crowd trouble during their Euro 2016 game with the Czech Republic.

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

Croatia can appeal the ruling, UEFA said.

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."

Coach Ante Cacic told a news conference he had been informed that the verdict wouldn't be harsh and expects no further incidents in their final group game Tuesday against title holders Spain in Bordeaux.

"I am not concerned. I believe police will be better prepared and that it is up to organizers to deal with these things," Cacic said.

The HNS had 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 can advance into the last 16 at the Euros and with their skillful team are considered among the contenders for the title.

So far they beat Turkey 1-0 but were held 2-2 by the Czechs after leading 2-0, the equalizer coming from a 90th minute penalty shortly after the interruption which affected the team.

"It was not easy after match against the Czech Republic, (but) the feeling is now much better, the atmosphere is perfect," attacking midfielder Ivan Perisic said.

"We expect great support from our fans (against Spain) like in the first two matches before the incident when the game was stopped."

Last update: Mon, 20/06/2016 - 21:11

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