CROATIA HAVE BEEN deducted one point after an apparent swastika was spotted on the pitch during their Euro 2016 qualifier with Italy.
Bleach was used to imprint the symbol on the pitch, which the Croatians have claimed was sabotage done ahead of the 1-1 draw in Split.
After the match against Norway, Croatia was fined 55,000 euro for racist behaviour and ordered to play behind closed doors. “In addition, the HNS has been fined 100,000 euros (£70,000)”.
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“The UEFA decision shows that these individuals who tried to destroy Croatia with their heinous act have failed”. In a statement, it described the punishment as “hard, the hardest in the history” of the association.
The top two teams from each group automatically qualify for next summer’s finals in France. They will host Bulgaria in October.
The swastika incident left Croatia’s players and the HNS fearing drastic punishment and the country’s prime minister, Zoran Milanovic, urged Uefa not to impose heavy sanctions.
The swastika was clearly marked in the middle of the half Italy was attacking in the first half. After beating Iceland, Simunic took a microphone on the field and shouted to supporters: “To the battle, to the battle for the homeland!”