Members of the European Parliament based in Brussels are planning to demand that the Croatian national team football shirt displays the EU blue and gold flag.
MEPs say that the EU symbol should appear next to the Croatian Football Federation badge, and also next to the badges on all European member states’ shirts, at big sporting events like the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.
The proposal, which emerged in a document drawn up by a European Parliament committee on culture and education titled “an integrated approach to sport policy”, also asks for the EU flag to be hoisted at matches featuring EU member states.
As The Sun reports, the EU believes that the new legislation would ‘provide a great opportunity for organised sports to promote positive values’ and as a ‘driver for tourism and local businesses’.
Football fans in Croatia have reacted to the news strongly and have not held back on their criticism of the proposal.
“This is absurd. When we entered the EU they said they would not take our identity and now look – step by step.”
“Over my dead body.”
“They can put the Croatian badge on the EU flag – see how they like that!”
“This is just a money spinner to sell more shirts. Rubbish idea.”
“The EU will be dissolved by the time this happens anyway once the UK goes.”
“Thought sport and politics were not meant to mix?”
“No stars are going on our shirts!!”
Were just some of the comments on Football forums.
Six years ago a similar proposal was shelved, but this new proposal will now be passed to the EU’s executive arm to consider drawing the requirement into legislation after it was overwhelmingly approved by the European Parliament.