The Croatian football federation say it is a ‘disgrace for all of Croatia’ and have condemned the person, or persons involved in creating a swastika pattern on the pitch for last night’s Euro 2016 qualifier at Poljud stadium in Split…
Italian journalists at the match first noticed the large swastika pattern and notified the Italian FA who immediately laid a complaint with UEFA. Ground staff done their best to cover it up at halftime, but to little avail.
Croatia could face punishment by UEFA for the incident, and considering the match was being played behind closed doors because of racist behaviour of fans in their last qualifier against Norway, the punishment maybe stronger than a stadium closure. Points deduction, or even being kicked out of the competition are some of the options UEFA have at their disposal.
There has been an ongoing feud between a section of fans and the Croatian FA, and it seems they are hellbent on getting the side kicked out of UEFA competitions until there is change at the FA.
Here is the Croatian football federation’s statement in response to the swastika incident at Poljud stadium:
We apologize to all viewers, our guests from Italy and the players from both teams, for the nazi symbol on the Poljud Stadium grass.
Technically speaking, a chemical agent was used on the field 24 to 48 hours before the kick-off, timed to be visible during the qualifying match. During the halftime, we have tried to remedy the situation to the best of our abilities, given the short amount of time.
We have immediately notified UEFA of the incident.
This was an obvious act of sabotage and a criminal act. We condemn it and ask the police and judicial bodies to find the person(s) responsible for what is a shame not only for Croatian football, but the entire country.
Once again, we express regret and condemn this act, and we apologize to all the viewers, guests and players from both teams.
Split police have launched an investigation into the matter and have taken a statement from the company in charge of maintaining the ground at Poljud stadium.