“It was an assassination on Croatian football!,” that is how Croatian FA Executive President Damir Vrbanović described Sunday night’s hooligan-marred EURO 2016 qualifier against Italy at the San Siro at a press conference in Zagreb on Tuesday, before blaming the Italian authorities for being asleep at the wheel…
“We can not explain why the Italians did nothing to prevent it. Nobody searched the fans as they came into the stadium, They did not open any bags to search and anybody could have bought what they wanted into the stadium. It seems our Italian colleagues wanted the match to go in another direction,” said Vrbanović, who can expect to be hearing from UEFA in the upcoming days.
“We got a 15-page report from the UEFA disciplinary committee. The decision regarding the punishment will follow in the next 10 or so days. It will definitely be a fine. I do not want to speculate on anything else it may be.”
Sunday night’s qualifier was suspended for more than 10 minutes when a group of Croatians, protesting against how the Croatian FA is run, began hurling flares onto the pitch.
“It was a coordinated action. An assassination on Croatian football. We will press charges against those fans who were arrested. Nobody normal can justify what they done. You do not have to agree with the controlling football body, but to do something like that…Is an embarrassment. Normal fans are appalled by that small group.”
200 at risk fans were blacklisted before the fixture, but managed to get hold of tickets on the black market for the match in Italy and Slovenia, despite being on the list there. The Croatian FA are calling for the government and other institutions to back them up in the fight against hooligans, much like England done to eradicate the massive problems they had there in decades gone by.