Croatia fined €80,000 for racist chanting
UEFA on Tuesday said it had fined the Croatian Football Federation €80,000 after its supporters racially abused Italy’s Mario Balotelli.
European football’s governing body said the fine was imposed “for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks and the improper conduct of supporters (racist chants, racist symbols)” at last Thursday’s Group C match in Poznan, western Poland.
“An appeal can be lodged against this decision within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision,” a statement on the organisation’s website said.
The case was being eyed closely given UEFA president Michel Platini’s repeated assertion that they have a “zero tolerance” to any racism and football-related violence.
Platini this week also expressed outrage at the situation, telling reporters that he had warned the Croatian football federation about the possibility of racist chanting last year.
Comparisons will inevitably be made to the €100,000 that UEFA ordered Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner to pay for showing the sponsored waistband of his underpants during a goal celebration. Bendtner was also suspended for a match.
That incident, in Denmark’s Group B match against Portugal last Wednesday, flouted rules governing player conduct and advertising rules. The online betting firm whose name was on Bendtner’s underwear said on Tuesday they would pay the fine.
Croatia had been expecting a heavy penalty after the same UEFA committee last week imposed the threat of a six-point reduction on Russia’s next European championship qualifying campaign.
That followed the throwing of missiles and fireworks at their opening Group A match against the Czech Republic on June 8. Four stewards also required hospital treatment when they were set upon after the game, which Russia won 4-1.